What is social economy?

The social economy is used not only as a general term for economic activity guided by a social purpose but also as a technical term for that part of the economy in which firms are controlled by employees, producers, consumers and volunteers (rather than private and professional investors).

Its primary focus is on worker co-operatives, employee-owned firms, consumer and mutual societies, but can extend to the economic activity of non-profit organisations, NGOs, credit unions, voluntary and self-help groups working with trade unions to distribute wealth more fairly.