The Chantier de l’économie sociale is committed to building a plural economy that produces returns for the community and protects the common good as it relates directly to communities’ needs and aspirations. Social economy enterprises ensure collective control and maintain the economic, social and cultural vitality of communities.


The mission of the Chantier de l’économie sociale is to promote the social economy as an integral part of Québec’s plural economy, and in so doing, contribute to the democratization of the economy and emergence of this development model that is based on the values of solidarity, equity, and transparency.


  • Bring together different stakeholders and partners of the social economy at the regional and Québec-wide levels
  • Promote the social economy as a vector of social and economic change
  • Create the conditions and tools that enable the consolidation, experimentation, and the development of new niches and projects
  • Participate in the construction of alliances with other socio-economic stakeholders and social movements favourable to this development model, including at the international level

Role of the Chantier as part of this movement

The major contributions of the Chantier de l’économie sociale in upcoming years will come under one of the following areas of action:

  • Raise awareness of the vision and contribution of the social economy to the development of a more democratic, sustainable, and fair economy to partners and the general public
  • Bring together the main stakeholders of the social economy movement in Québec in order to create favourable conditions and public policies for collective entrepreneurship and, more broadly, for a more democratic, sustainable, and solidarity-based economy.
  • Facilitate links, sharing of best practices, and discussions among the movement’s various components through the creation and sharing of new knowledge, analysis, and forecasts to support action on the ground
  • Facilitate the creation of development tools with a structuring effect (financial, marketing, research, knowledge transfer)
  • Facilitate learning, discussions, and networking at the international level by involving members and partners


The history of the social economy is the history of women and men who have mobilized to meet the challenges of their times and the needs of their communities. For over 100 years, the social economy has influenced the development of Québec. In a variety of forms and structures, organizations and collective enterprises through the generations have contributed to the development of a more human-centred society and economy. The Chantier de l’économie sociale was born out of the same impulse and need.

In March 1996, the Groupe de travail sur l’économie sociale was formed during preparations for the Summit Conference on the Economy and Employment. The working group had six months to assess the potential basin of support in every region of Québec. Enthused and excited by this exercise, the working group agreed to continue its promotional and analytical activities for another two years.

At the end of this period, much had been accomplished, but the gains of the social economy, although tangible, needed to be consolidated and its ongoing development within the socioeconomic structure of Québec had to be ensured.

The Chantier de l’économie sociale thus became an independent, non-profit society, at its founding general meeting in April 1999.