Edited by Bruce A. Seaman and Dennis R. Young
In this chapter, Jack Quarter and Laurie Mook present a social economy framework for understanding the extraordinary variety of organizations that are guided by social objectives – non-profits, co-operatives, and social enterprises. The framework highlights the similarities and differences of social economy organizations, and how they interact with the other sectors of society. Prioritizing social objectives affects how these organizations function; it places constraints on the disposition of surplus earnings and who can benefit from the assets, which are used to create social wealth, not individual wealth. Social economy organizations also face common issues, including the need to build awareness of their role and impact, and to prepare a workforce to manage multiple bottom lines. In brief, the social economy – social economy businesses, community economic development organizations, public sector non-profits, and civil society organizations –is an integral part of a mixed economy and serves in many ways as its social infrastructure.
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