To embark on the social and solidarity economy (ESS)

Would you like to contribute to the development of a more just and sustainable society? Do you have entrepreneurial aspirations? Get started in the social and solidarity economy (ESS)! In the lines that follow, we present you the springs of the ESS and give you some keys to help you initiate your project.

The ESS: presentation

If its principle escapes you, try to define it and mention the main sectors on which it rests. The quest for meaning, concern for the general interest, the future of the planet ... can all be at the center of people's concerns driven by entrepreneurship. Profiles able to enroll in the ESS, in the goal of reconciling the economy and the socialwhatever the nature of the project. The ESS brings together private, non-profit, or limited-profit companies whose players want to respond to the many challenges we face: employment, education, ecology ...

In detail, these may, for example, be projects aimed at fight against energy poverty, eliminate over-indebtedness and promote the reuse of waste.

The sectors

In France, the ESS represents a little more 6 jobs on 10 in the field of social action. It accounts for more than half of sports and leisure jobs (57% precisely), and contributes significantly to financial and insurance activities with almost one in three jobs in the field.

In the social and medico-social sectors, recruitment needs are diverse and varied. The structures concerned in particular need educators, caregivers, social workers and qualified professionals in cleaning, restoration or maintenance. Social entrepreneurs are indeed in the context of a aging countrybecause France will indeed face 700 000 retirements from here to 2025: as many seniors who will need to be healed and replaced. Currently, there are approximately 222 000 establishments employing 2,37 million employees, or 10,5% of total French salaried employment.

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social economy

The legal form

Defined by its practices and purpose, the ESS does not impose any particular legal structure. Foundation, cooperative, mutual, commercial utility, social ... it is up to you to determine the one that corresponds most to your project. For your information, it is the associations that have the highest volume of solidarity employment (78% against 13% for cooperatives). There are micro-enterprises as well as large organizations, social entrepreneurs with differentiated objectives, who exchange their experiences, for example, through the Mouves network. The sector is also popular with independents who aspire to start a human activity while enjoying the benefits of self-entrepreneurship, widely listed on the platform

Ecology and the SSE

Would you like to be inspired by concrete ecological initiatives already implemented by entrepreneurs? Studies and actions have identified a few: the Regional Climate Energy Agency (AREC) and the Regional Directorate for the Environment and Energy (DRIEE) of Ile-de-France have published a report called "SSE actors bringing innovation to the service of ecological transition."

In this document, we find examples of practices identified in the Paris region that respond to environmental issues. First of all, we think of the association Aurore, which is dedicated to cultivating social bonds and solidarity through gardening activity, while the association Au fil de l'eau strives to bring citizens closer to their classes. by organizing river and ecological activities.

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From eco-friendly to modes of cleaner moving

How to work, produce and consume are other dimensions on which the actors of the SSE have a considerable impact. Also in Île-de-France, several structures stand out for their virtuous actions. It is first of all Halage, which makes employees aware of the ecogests, of Wimoov which mobilizes employment partners around a sustainable mobility project, the association La Bouilloire founded in 2000 which is illustrated by rationalizing the modes of travel and the travel time of employees… Without forgetting IDEMU specialized in the training of social workers in the prevention of fuel poverty.

A project in the SSE? The practice

To make your project a success and become a player in the ESS, here are the main steps to accomplish.

First you need to identify a need that you are able to answer : an innovation, a new organization or by combining several skills. Like an elected official in the field, it is in your best interest to attend neighborhood meetings, to take an interest in all local issues and to participate in popular events for professionals. In order to determine an economic model that holds water, it is essential to have a solid idea beforehand and that it really renders a service to citizens and to the planet.

Made an inventory of projects that are similar to yours. These may be people who are preparing to start their business and those who already meet the needs you have identified. It's up to you to consider to what extent you could become an added value to this type of project, not one of its multiple substitutes.

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Whether by association or other form of business, you must necessarily register in a public benefit process. No false humility: assume your commitment and attract as much as possible the spotlight on your activity. From loved ones to former co-workers to SSE stakeholders that you may have already solicited, make noise and earn credibility by showing that your positioning complies with the principles of the green and united economy.

A concrete business plan

Writing a convincing business plan is a condition sine qua non even in the field of solidarity. If your project is not primarily intended to generate profits, you must nevertheless build a solid folder which will also help to give you credibility with your interlocutors. It will help you in your search for funding and partnerships, as well as in your communication efforts.

At the end of this phase, you will be all the more equipped to promote your project. Bear in mind that your activity will participate in economic developmentbut above all societal and environmental. As such, it is particularly likely to be supported by political actors.

You have an idea? A solidarity economy, social and environmental project? Talk about it on our forum of the sustainable economy

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