November 1 marks the start of Social Economy Month, an initiative to promote this alternative economic model. This year, the Chantier de l’économie sociale and the 22 Pôles d’économie sociale, active across all regions of Quebec, are joining forces to demonstrate how collective enterprises can give meaning to everyday life.
“More and more people want to have a positive impact on society,” explains Olivier Doyle, the executive director of the Pôle d’économie sociale Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent. He suggests people are starting to rethink current economic models and make changes to their consumption habits. “The social economy represents an avenue for those who want to be part of the change. Whether by opting to look for a job in the social economy, by supporting collective enterprises, by becoming involved with a board of directors, or by investing in their products or services, we are placing the human being at the heart of our decisions,” he says, adding, “By prioritizing the social economy, we give meaning to our choices, we give life to a more just economy, and we transform our living environments. Money is then at the service of people, of the community!”
Choosing an economic model that makes sense for the community
Change is apparent as the social economy continues to grow throughout Quebec. Today in the Montérégie region, there are 1,370 collective enterprises employing approximately 22,840 people. Collective entrepreneurship alone generates 9.2 billion dollars in sales. More and more people are investing in the social economy, and this movement will continue to grow if Quebecers decide to make the social economy a priority in their daily lives.
For this reason, the Pôle d’économie sociale Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent will be taking advantage of this year’s edition of Social Economy Month to remind those in the region that they can rely on collective entrepreneurship not only as a source of employment, but for businesses as well. Embracing the values of democracy, equity, and solidarity, collective entrepreneurship stands to benefit both employers and employees. In today’s context, where labour shortages are affecting many sectors, opting for the social economy can prove to be attractive to employees. Collective enterprises have on average better employee retention and remain in operation over a longer period.
The Pôle d’économie sociale will be offering a variety of activities to raise awareness and promote the social economy throughout the month of November. Individuals working in the social economy or who are interested in collective entrepreneurship will have the opportunity to learn more through various activities, including public events, webinars, and the publication of profiles of different social economy business owners and managers. More information on the different activities being run by the Pôle d’économie sociale can be found online at www.economiesocialevhsl.org. (SR)