As Chairman of the Spanish Social Economy Employers’ Confederation (CEPES), I would like to highlight the social and economic value and transcendence that this other way of doing business has achieved in the past few years. It has responded like no other form of business to the challenges that are not being met in real life today.
Social Economy undertakings are an asset to society. By providing stable, quality employment, social economy improves social condition by providing employment and solutions in times of crisis.
The value of this business model is based on three dimensions: local, social and managerial. This business model has strong ties in the community where it carries out its main activity. Social economy puts the labour factor ahead of capital, making a full commitment to social responsibility, contributing to stable job creation, integrating disadvantaged collectives and fostering economic development wherever it operates. Finally, social economy has a clear managerial and economic dimension that is a guarantee for the efficacy and efficiency of its projects.
A business model that responds to the need for change demanded by society at all levels: from the public authorities, from companies, from organisations and from the population.
In the past six years, social economy enterprises have created 190,000 jobs and 29,000 undertakings. With such validation, Social Economy should be recognised as a model that is based on values and principles and as a social partner present in institutional dialogue and in all forums where public policy is being built towards improving our society.
From an international perspective and, more specifically, at European level, Spanish Social Economy has become a point of reference. Our presence in institutions such as Social Economy Europe, currently chaired by CEPES, the European Economic and Social Council or as part of the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament, is a testament to this.
In the Mediterranean region, CEPES still heads the Euro-Mediterranean Social Economy Network (ESMED) which brings together fourteen organisations from nine countries. This has made it possible for Social Economy to be present at the Euro-Mediterranean Summit held in Cyprus and at the Euro-Mediterranean Industrial Cooperation Summit.
All of the above attest to CEPES and Spanish Social Economy becoming increasingly positioned in the socioeconomic reality, furthering our claim for a place on the stages where public policy is discussed, as I have pointed out earlier.
Day to day, we prove we are an example of another economic model being possible, where business efficacy works alongside the values of solidarity, responsibility and social cohesion. We are an example of there being other ways to generate wealth and share it and to respond to what society is demanding, correcting social inequalities and imbalances along the way.
We are convinced that Social Economy is one of the solutions that the future is demanding from us. Don’t forget this.
Without a doubt, THE MOMENT FOR SOCIAL ECONOMY IS NOW
Juan Antonio Pedreño
Presidente de CEPES