The so-called Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS) generates more than 2.2 million jobs in Spain and generates around 150,000 million euros, equivalent to 10% of GDP, according to a report.
The financial crisis of 2008 generated a current of opinion in favor of “the de-commodification of certain aspects of life and the democratization of companies”, explained Fernando Sabín, a member of the Andaira research cooperative and one of the authors of the report Social and Solidarity Economy: provisional balance and perspectives for Spain, which was presented on Monday at the headquarters of the Fundación Alternativas.
The result of this was the promotion of the so-called Social Economy, a type of business in which decision-making is based on the democratic participation of the members and to which belong modalities such as cooperatives, associations or mutual societies. The Social Economy, which in Spain is regulated by law since 2011, has joined the so-called Solidarity Economy, which puts “more emphasis on the environment and sustainability” and for which “the economy is a means, not an objective”, explained another author of the report, Ana Álvaro, an economist and worker of the Dinamia cooperative in the Mares project.
With 2014 data, in the world there are about 2.6 million cooperatives that generate 2.9 trillion dollars in business volume and that directly employ 250 million people, especially in the agro-industrial, insurance, banking and financial services and wholesale and retail trade. In Europe, according to the study, between 10 and 12% of the companies correspond to Social Economy entities that, in 2010, employed around 14.5 million people, equivalent to 6.5% of the total working population of the EU.
In the case of Spain, there are around 43,000 ESS entities (including more than 21,000 cooperatives, in addition to labor companies, mutual societies, foundations or brotherhoods) that bill 150,000 million euros, equivalent to between 10 and 12% of the total. GDP.
Spain is the ninth country in the world in the number of workers in the SSE in relation to the working population as a whole. In total, the ESS generate more than 2.2 million direct and indirect jobs, representing 12.5% of the country’s total employment. If only direct employment is taken into account, this percentage stands at 6.74%, slightly above the 6.53% of the European average.