The social and solidarity economy (SSE) is a key issue for the Lyon metropolitan area. The city is doing everything to create conditions favourable to business development that is aligned with its social and environmental needs.


SSE: a new type of entrepreneurship in the Lyon metropolitan area!

Social innovation, like SSE, is not a sector but a form of entrepreneurship in local areas and for local areas.

SSE organizations develop business activities in all sectors (food, the circular economy, farming, healthcare, transportation, finance and more) in response to local residents’ needs that remain unmet by the market or public policies.

These organizations, recognized by the French law of 31 July 2014, meet all 3 of the following conditions:

  • a project that is beneficial to society
  • democratic governance (1 person = 1 voice)
  • limited profits.

In the Lyon area, together we are committed to supporting all of these companies that put the principles of solidarity and social benefit at the heart of their business model.

Key figures on the social and solidarity economy in the Lyon metropolitan area

  • 6,500 organizations (Insee - Clap 2015)
  • 77,800 jobs, i.e. 12.5% of overall jobs (Insee - Clap 2015)
  • €1 million invested by Lyon Metropole to create a foundation to support social innovation

Organizations that have chosen the Lyon metropolitan area

These Lyon-based social and solidarity economy companies have made an impact beyond the region:

SSE: a cornerstone of the local economy

The social and solidarity economy, with many organizations in the Lyon metropolitan area, is a key component of the local business environment.

In the region, we wish to be able to rely on these pioneers, who bring concrete solutions, to support the development of an economy that is low in carbon and high in social justice!

Lyon Metropole is committed to developing the social and solidarity economy in the region. It namely:

A cutting-edge region for social innovation

Steeped in a humanist tradition, since the early 19th century, the Lyon area has been a crucible of social innovation. The Territoire French Impact label, awarded to the city in 2019, distinguishes the excellence of its social-economy ecosystem.

The Lyon French Impact collective – epitomising this joint dynamic of social entrepreneurs, public-sector actors and enterprises – aims to bolster the metropolitan area’s innovative capability to meet social and environmental challenges. The collective has notably set up the Fondation de soutien à l'innovation sociale (Foundation to Support Social Innovation), but also devised a full offering for companies wanting to undertake responsible programmes.

Foundation to Support Social Innovation

An ecosystem that fosters the development of social and solidarity economy initiatives

The metropolitan area is home to a host of stakeholders that support all social and solidarity economy initiatives, from their inception to the development of projects with high social impact.

A comprehensive range of support services

A number of key organizations are helping to boost the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation in the region. They can support you in your SSE projects.

Support for entrepreneurs

Support for local SSE development

Real estate solutions

Étic, a sustainable real estate firm, provides offices and coworking spaces at its Hévéa complex in Lyon’s 7th district.

Funding solutions

RDI offers zero-interest loans, loan guarantees and more.

Web platforms for dialog and information

At the regional level, the Regional Chamber for the Social and Solidarity Economy (CRESS) has developed an online platform dedicated to SSE organizations: Ambition SSE.

SSE entrepreneurs can also count on the local LYVE community and its collaborative web platform, lyve-lyon.com  

At your service

For all players in the social and solidarity economy, our staff is available to assist you with your projects in the Lyon area.

Incubation program for SSE companies


The Lyon area is innovating by creating the 1st incubation program for SSE companies.

Ronalpia, Aderly and Lyon Metropole offer a program to support the setup of businesses based on proven social and solidarity economy solutions that address unmet needs in the region.

Nearly 40 companies have already been hosted in the region. Beyond their social aims, they have created over 90 direct jobs.

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