Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions published recently a report on “Cooperatives and social enterprises: Work and employment in selected countries”.
First and foremost, the report confirmed something the SSE sector knew already, that cooperatives and social enterprises have been steadily creating jobs, and more importantly quality jobs, even though the last economic crisis. The report points also out the importance of support measures and their highly positive impact on the sector. Overall it draws a rather positive picture of Cooperatives and social enterprises, putting forward their capacity to innovate and to find new markets.
Drawing on this, the report makes several policy proposals, with which we can only agree. It calls to raise awareness on cooperatives and social enterprises by improving statistical data on the sector, clarify the types and forms of cooperatives and social enterprises, mainstreaming the sector in enterprises and business education, promoting the sector as an alternative to public sector service provision, raising the profile of the sector… It also calls to increase the support to the sector by a better targeting of specific support, seeking to understand why cooperatives and social enterprises do not access more support especially support targeted to the sector, to promote social value clauses in public tendering and to support the development of management skills. Overall, this report is a great support for our actions as it shows that what we are advocating for is working and it is supported by hard evidences.