A New Beginning for Social Economy in Québec?


In 2006 the Québec Summit on the Social and Solidarity Economy determined priorities for developing an economy rooted in social justice and environmental sustainability. Premier Jean Charest affirmed the support of his government for the decisions of the delegates. This commitment finally bore fruit last November. Over the next five years the Government of Québec's new "Action Plan for Collective Entrepreneurship" will devote an additional $16.7 million to the priorities identified two years ago.

The plan first reviews the longevity of Quebec's social economy and the backing it has received from government. Then come a list of new supports for social economy networking, including more funding for the Chantier de l'économie sociale and for 21 "regional hubs" (Pôles d'économie sociale en région) that will promote and develop the social economy across Québec. Procurement policy favouring collective enterprises and strategies to leverage private investment for social purposes will be introduced. Government will collaborate with the Chantier and researchers to complete a statistical portrait of the social economy.

About the same time, hundreds also attended summits in Vancouver and Toronto to outline how the political and economic environment in their provinces could become more supportive of social enterprise. Common platforms began to emerge, despite the delegates' diversity in structure, strategy, and location. By contrast, Quebec's Action Plan makes social economy integral to the government's response to the recession and to its regional development strategy.

The Governmental Action Plan for Collective Entrepreneurship
Neamtan, Nancy
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