Le Chantier de l'économie sociale

North America
Member since: 
November 2014
Le Chantier de l'économie sociale


The Chantier de l’économie sociale is committed to building a plural economy that aims to produce returns for the community and protect the common good, based on the communities' needs and aspirations. Social economy enterprises are collectively controlled and contribute to ensuring the ongoing economic, social and cultural vitality of communities.


The mission of the Chantier de l'économie sociale is to promote the social economy as an integral part of Québec's plural economy, and in so doing, contribute to the democratization of the economy and the emergence of a development model based on the values of solidarity, equity, and transparency.


  • Enable the collaboration of social economy stakeholders and partners at the regional and Quebec-wide levels.
  • Promote the social economy as a vector of social and economic change.
  • Create conditions and tools that facilitate the consolidation, experimentation, and development of new niches and projects.
  • Participate in the construction of alliances with other socio-economic stakeholders and community action groups that support this development model, including at the international level.

The Chantier's role in this movement

The main contributions of the Chantier de l'économie sociale in upcoming years will be in the following areas:

  1. Make the social economy's vision and its contribution to the development of a more democratic, sustainable, and cooperative economy known to partners and to the general public;
  2. Bring together the main stakeholders of the social economy movement in Quebec in order to create conditions and public policies favorable to collective entrepreneurship and, more broadly, to a more democratic, sustainable, and solidarity-based economy;
  3. Enable networking and the sharing of best practices and other discussions among the movement's various components through the creation and sharing of new knowledge, analysis, and perspectives to support development in the field;
  4. Enable the creation of development tools with a structuring effect (financial, marketing, research, knowledge transfer);
  5. Facilitate learning, discussions, and networking at the international level through the involvement of members and partners.


The history of the social economy is the history of women and men who have mobilized to meet the challenges of their times and the needs of their communities. For over 100 years, the social economy has influenced the development of Quebec.

In a variety of forms and denominations, throughout generations, collective organizations and enterprises have contributed to the development of a more human-centred society and economy. The Chantier de l'économie sociale rose out of the same impulse and need.

In March 1996, the Groupe de travail sur l'économie sociale (Taskforce on the Social Economy) was formed in the preparation of the Summit Conference on the Economy and Employment.

The task force had six months to assess the potential basin of solidarity in every region of Quebec. Enthused and galvanized by this exercise, the task force obtained the mandate to continue its analytical and promotional activities for another two years.

At the end of this period, though much had been accomplished, the gains of the social economy, while tangible, needed to be consolidated, and its ongoing development ensured within the socioeconomic structure of Quebec.

To carry out this work, in its founding general meeting in April 1999, the Chantier de l'économie sociale became an independent, non-profit society, accountable to its members, the different structures and support organizations of the social economy in Quebec.