“The social and solidarity economy represents the future”

The Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy, in charge of the social, solidarity and responsible economy, wishes to give more visibility to this booming sector and open up its financing methods.

How does the social and solidarity economy (ESS) sector emerge from an eighteen-month health crisis?

It has held up well during the crisis from which we are beginning to emerge. It is clear that during this difficult period, this economy of daring, mutual aid and resourcefulness has demonstrated its strengths and the benefits it provides to society. We could have lost more than 100,000 jobs, we managed, with its actors and the support of the State, to maintain them.

The ESS has been eligible for aid: solidarity fund, loan guaranteed by the State, partial unemployment … And part of the sector – I am thinking of certain solidarity-based social utility companies (ESUS) or certain cooperatives – has become even reinforced during the crisis.

What remains to be done to consolidate this sector, which has an important place in the French economy but which nevertheless remains largely unknown?

When I arrived at the head of this new Secretary of State, a year and a half ago, knowledge was not widely shared on this social and solidarity economy. We therefore carried out with Bruno Le Maire a work of acculturation to allow the General Directorate of Enterprises (DGE) and the General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFiP) to better understand and support it, to respond to its problems. .

There are undoubtedly still things to be done, but I believe that it is essential that the whole sector amplifies the pedagogy on the SSE. France is a great country of social economy: the first human organizations resembling mutuals, especially in health, appeared there at the end of the 18th century.e century.

“More than one billion euros have been deployed within more than fifteen calls for projects specifically opened for SSE actors”

It is incredible that this economy which today represents about 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France and which has more than 2 million employees is so little known. We must show, especially to young people, that this economy of values, more than just lucrative value, represents the future.

When I arrived in July 2020, the solidarity fund had only supported SSE structures up to 150 million euros. Finally, more than 500 million were disbursed. For the UrgencESS fund, in six months we have succeeded in supporting 5,000 structures, particularly associations, and in saving 16,000 jobs for a total of 30 million euros. As of now, within the recovery plan, more than one billion euros have been deployed in more than fifteen calls for projects specifically open to SSE stakeholders.

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