Social economy

Read about the European social economy, collaborate with clusters in the field and stay informed about calls, news and events.

Social economy is a significant proportion of the Europe’s economy that provides benefits for people other than investors and owners. Social enterprises include a huge range of actors that can become drivers for social innovation.

They operate a very broad number of commercial activities, provide a wide range of products and services across the European single market and generate millions of jobs. Social enterprises are main engines for social innovation

Social economy clusters

Social economy clusters or “Cluster of social and ecological innovation” are “Groups of social economy enterprises and other related supporting and economic actors that cooperate in a particular location to increase their joint social and ecologic impact by enhancing their cooperation, pooling resources and innovation capacity.“ Some characteristics of Cluster of social and ecological innovation:

  • Social economy "clusterisation" is a recent and growing phenomena
  • Many of them are organised in a quadruple or quintuple model, meaning bringing together business (social economy and regular business), civil society, research and government.
  • CSEI are usually cross-sectoral in terms of sector (NACE). This means they have usually other drivers than just improving the sectoral competitiveness.
  • Most pursued social priorities are: job creation and inclusion, social innovation development, local economic development and the development of a local social economy ecosystem in itself.
  • Some clusters are developed around a specific physical space or want to pursue their joint activities into such a joint space. These are often organised as open spaces, creative commons and have a variety of activities and services that go beyond pure businesses activity (culture, leisure, housing, etc.).

Find out more about Social Economy clusters through the European Commission’s Expert group on social economy and social enterprises (GECES) launched in 2018.

Find social economy clusters

Discover social economy clusters, their enterprises and other supporting economic actors

Social economy calls

Discover the latest tender opportunities within the social economy community

Social economy news

Find out the latest news and updates from the social economy clusters community

Social economy events

Team up with others and find new collaboration opportunities at dedicated events.

Social economy map

Discover social economy clusters, their enterprises and other supporting economic actors