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
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:
- funds SSE organizations throughout the lifespan of their projects
- supports Regional Economic Cooperation Centers (PTCEs) to scale up these projects by leveraging a collective entrepreneurial momentum, namely within key sectors (the circular economy, textiles, access to food, sustainable construction and more).
- is directly involved as a partner in various collective projects, by holding stakes in cooperative community-oriented companies (SCICs).
- For example, with Iloé, the metropolitan area’s flagship circular economy project.
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.
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
- Anciela and la Miete, incubators for community-oriented initiatives.
- Alterincub and Ronalpia, incubators that identify and support social innovation projects.
- URSCOP, the regional union for cooperative companies, assists in setting up cooperative organizations (SCOPs and SCICs).
- Business and Employment Cooperatives (CAEs), a type of collective entrepreneurship for individual entrepreneurs.
- Centsept and its project acceleration program.
- Rhône Développement Initiative (RDI), a nonprofit that offers a local support program to sustain and grow businesses.
- The Foundation to Support Social Innovation, developed in partnership with the Caisse d’Épargne Foundation and Banque des Territoires, funds research and development projects for scale-up.
Support for local SSE development
- The Centsept social innovation laboratories, to invent and develop community-based solutions for the region.
- The ‘Zero Unemployment Region’ (Territoire Zéro Chômeur) initiative, to develop a range of services and recruit people in participating localities who have been unemployed for long periods.
- For example, in Villeurbanne, in the Saint-Jean neighborhood, one participating company, EmerJean has created over 80 jobs, mainly held by formerly unemployed persons who live in the neighborhood.
- Find out more about Zero Unemployment Regions in Greater Lyon (in French)
Real estate solutions
RDI offers zero-interest loans, loan guarantees and more.
A number of foundations involved in these initiatives are also active in the region:
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.
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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09 Mar 2022