Based on solidarity, economic performance and social utility, the Social and Solidarity Economy is driven by a set of companies organized in the form of cooperatives, mutual insurance firms, associations and foundations. Adopting democratic and participative modes of management, these companies, whose resources are generally partly public, supervise the use of their profits, forbidding individual profit and reinvesting the gains.
On the basis of initiatives from local players responding to problems specific to the regions, the Social and Solidarity Economy, which represents 10% of GDP and 12% of private jobs in France, is set to change scale. This is happening with the strengthened legal framework offered by the law of July 31, 2014 to provide stakeholders with a growth strategy which is more robust, a bigger creator of jobs, more sustainable and more socially just.
Public orders are an essential vehicle. The scheme for the promotion of socially and environmentally responsible public procurement aims, by means of a mirror effect, to endow the regional buyer with a purchasing strategy which therefore goes beyond a total annual amount of purchases exceeding the threshold of 100 million euros excluding VAT. This means that almost all metropolises, about sixty departments, nearly 70 public intermunicipal cooperation institutions, and about ten municipalities with more than 250,000 inhabitants are involved. To amplify the movement, the lowering of the threshold recommended by the report on application of the law, presented by Yves Blein and Daniel Fasquelle, should also encourage the smallest local buyers to implement responsible purchasing.
For its part, BpiFrance created the PESS (Social and Solidarity Economy Loan) in April 2016. This financing dedicated to development projects with collective, social and environmental values, is accessible by SMEs, in the European sense of the term, with more than three years of existence, excluding any farming activity, financial intermediation or development and rental of real estate.
To support this change of gear, the cross-cutting approach to the law starting from the regions is proving more essential than ever.