What's the issue?
Social and solidarity economy (SSE) entities are increasing their contribution to the economy in many countries, but do we know how much? Limited data on the size of SSE, employment in SSE, its geographical distribution and contribution to the overall economy do not help understand its scale in countries. At the same time, global crises combined with increasing calls for sustainable and inclusive development have increased awareness and importance of the SSE. This growing interest goes hand in hand with the need to better capture the scope, size and reach of the SSE, which requires improving data collection and information systems. Today, only a small proportion of countries collect and publish statistics and information about their SSE landscape on a systematic basis.
Why is it important?
Developing a repository of data and knowledge around the SSE is important to make it visible, improve its recognition and support informed policy making. Data can contribute to improving knowledge around the SSE and help stakeholders, including policy makers, supporting organisations and potential investors, to better understand the current state of the SSE. When data on the SSE are available, there is a need to go beyond measuring its size to also capture its other contributions, especially economic and social. Measuring the size of the SSE, usually captured by the number of entities or number of jobs, is important and useful. It also facilitates the development and implementation of better policies to support SSE development and monitor effectiveness.
What can the OECD do?
The OECD compiled the country fact sheets (below) to provide a snapshot of the SSE space in covered countries, fully or partially. Information on the SSE ecosystems is presented by country and includes the existence of an official definition of the SSE, the size of the SSE, employment patterns, economic contribution (when available), legal and institutional frameworks surrounding the SSE, and existing social impact measurement initiatives. Given the diversity in how the SSE is recognised (or not) across countries, the country fact sheets provide a peek into what the SSE looks like in each country.