Global Action: Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems

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In 2020, the OECD launched the Global Action “Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems”, funded by the European Union’s Foreign Partnership Instrument, to support the development and internationalisation of the social and solidarity economy. The Action focuses on two critical policy levers that can help unlock the potential of the SSE, namely legal frameworks and social impact measurement, while considering the entire policy ecosystem as a framework. 

Mathias Cormann, OECD Secretary-General
The Social and Solidarity Economy: From the Margins to the Mainstream

About this project

Growing inequalities, persistent unemployment and environmental imperatives have come to the fore as priority policy issues, even more so in light of COVID-19.

In this context, the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) can contribute to building more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. The SSE has indeed proved to be a longstanding agent of inclusive growth.

Despite the increasingly recognised importance of the SSE, many countries still struggle to develop conducive ecosystems and access good practices.

As part of the OECD and EU strategic objectives to promote inclusive, smart, resilient and sustainable growth, this project aims to:

  • Support the SSE, including social enterprise development and internationalisation
  • Raise awareness and build capacity to conducive national and local ecosystems for SSE development
  • Promote knowledge-sharing and other exchanges at the international level

The Action targets more than 30 countries including all EU countries as well as Brazil, Canada, India, Korea, Mexico and the United States.  

Read the Global Action flyer

What's new

What's the impact of the social economy?

Social economy organisations put social and environmental concerns at the heart of their business model, prioritising social impact over profit maximisation. Social impact measurement can help assess this impact and its social value.

See all social economy videos



Social Economy Impact Measurement

Social and solidarity economy entities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their social impact: the bar is rising on reporting expectations, especially from funders, but social impact measurement can also serve as an important ally in the pursuit of their social mission. This paper examines existing methodologies social impact measurements and reviews how they are being implemented.


The Social and Solidarity Economy: From the Margins to the Mainstream

Growing inequalities, social challenges and environmental imperatives are at the top of political agendas. In this context, the SSE has emerged as a key lever for building more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. Read the highlights and listen to the replays to find out what it will take to move the social economy forward.


Global Action topics

Legal frameworks

Legal frameworks have a significant impact on the visibility, recognition and development of the social and solidarity economy.

This work explores: 1) why and how countries adopt legal frameworks to support social and solidarity economy organisations, 2) what the different trends and legal options are and 3) how policy makers can evaluate the performance of or need for legal frameworks.

The overall objective is to inform tailored measures and policies that could support social economy development.

Read the new scoping paper: Legal frameworks for the social and solidarity economy

Social impact measurement

There is pressing need to clarify the concept and practice of social impact measurement, in order to promote a shared understanding and increased uptake by all actors in the SSE ecosystem. Despite significant progress and growing attention to harmonisation, there is not yet a universally agreed approach for social impact measurement.

This work stream explores: 1) current social impact measurement practices among SSE organisations, 2) the methodologies best suited to capture the social benefits of the SSE and 3) policy initiatives to foster a social impact measurement culture and practice in the SSE ecosystem.

The overall objective is to identify what policies and methodologies can help the social economy assess its value.

Read our new report: Social Impact Measurement for the Social and Solidarity Economy



Internationalisation is a common strategy for social and solidarity economy organisations to scale and increase their social impact. However, when moving across borders, SSE organisations face many challenges often more pronounced than those faced by commercial enterprises. 

The objective of this work stream is to identify the key factors driving SSE organisations to internationalise, the main reasons and obstacles that prevent them from doing so, as well as the relevant policy instruments to support SSE internationalisation.

Women and the SSE

The SSE provides employment opportunities to many women. The Global Action examines the various challenges faced by women in the workforce and leadership, and the factors that could further increase inclusivity and equality within and by SSE organisations.

The objective is to explore policies and initiatives led by national and sub-national authorities and identify innovative and inclusive practices adopted by SSE organisations.

24 March 2021 Advancing gender equality through the social economy

Youth-led social enterprises

As policy makers increasingly act to support social enterprises and the social economy more broadly, it is important that they also provide tailored support to youth-led social enterprises that have specific needs and face distinct challenges.

This work stream examines the opportunities and challenges faced by youth-led social enterprises, and how current and future policies could better support them.

Peer-Learning Partnerships (PLPs)

Perspectives from the Peer-learning PartnershipsPeer learning is a powerful way to stimulate collective thinking and develop innovative solutions to the social and environmental challenges we now face.

The Peer-learning Partnerships (PLP) were developed to encourage knowledge sharing on the importance of building and reinforcing conducive ecosystems for SSE development across the work areas relevant to the Global Action. Composed of six consortia co-ordinating over 130 partners, the PLPs provide a peer-learning platform for SSE stakeholders and organisations to exchange lessons, experiences and methodologies with peers from other countries, in view of developing activities of mutual interest.


Learn more about the PLPs

Past events


  • 24 March, virtual event: OECD March on Gender webinar: Advancing gender equality through the social economy






OECD & the SSE

Explore our analysis on social economy, entrepreneurship and innovation, based on more than 20 years of research in the field.

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