Getting to know and raising awareness of SSE actors

Kit RégionalESS N°4

June 2021

Réseau des collectivités Territoriales pour une Economie Solidaire (RTES)

In connection with the renewal of regional executives in June 2021, RTES proposes a Regional SSE kit to raise awareness among candidates and provide tools for future regional teams wishing to support the social and solidarity economy (SSE).

This kit will include about twenty practical sheets, based on the principle of the MunicipalESS Kit published in 2020, illustrated with examples, and presenting in a synthetic and concrete way how a regional council can include the SSE in its policies. Sheets 1 and 2 of the RegionalESS kit are SSE presentation sheets. They can be consulted under the references Social and Solidarity Economy: What are we talking about? (fact sheet n°2504) and Why implement a cross-cutting policy to support the social and solidarity economy? (fact sheet n°2505).

Sheet No. 4 provides information on and understanding of all SSE structures in order to better involve them in the development and monitoring of regional council actions.

One of the characteristics of policies supporting the social and solidarity economy (SSE) is that they are co-constructed with local actors (see sheet 3). Their knowledge is therefore an important prerequisite for action.

However, the diversity of actors can make it difficult to identify them, and the contribution of SSE actors to the various regional policies remains poorly known overall. How can all SSE structures be known and promoted in order to involve them more effectively in the development and monitoring of the regional council’s actions?

There are several possible levers of action:

Rely on networks to identify SSE actors

The Regional SSE Observatory (Oress) in Brittany

Led by CRESS Bretagne, Oress works on the knowledge and recognition of the SSE in the region through the regular publication of figures on the SSE. It provides decision-making support for the public or private organisations that support it and, in particular, support for the development of the regional SSE strategy of the Regional Council of Brittany.

Organise awareness-raising events and support events organised by stakeholders

Forums, award ceremonies, conferences, etc. These are all possible events to be organised with SSE actors in order to initiate cooperation and make them known to a wider public. This can involve organising events highlighting SSE actors, particularly as part of SSE Month (every November), but also encouraging the participation of SSE actors in broader events (job forums, business creation fairs, etc.).

The regional council can also support events organised by SSE actors on a regional or even national scale, such as the National Forum on SSE and Social Innovation in New Aquitaine or the Alternative Economy Days in Burgundy Franche-Comté.

Awareness of the SSE can also be raised through actions carried out with high school students and apprentices.

The Burgundy Franche-Comté regional SSE competition

Each year, the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region organises a regional SSE competition in order to promote exemplary SSE initiatives. The awards ceremony takes place during the Journées de l’économie autrement organised in Dijon by Alternatives économiques at the end of the SSE Month.

A SSE day in Occitania

The Occitanie region co-organised with the CRESS Occitanie the 1st edition of the « Socially Responsible Business and Purchasing Week » in December 2020, in order to strengthen the links between SSE companies and public and private buyers in the context of economic recovery.

Rely on the regional SSE conferences

A time for co-construction of SSE policies provided for by the 2014 SSE law, the regional conferences are co-organised every two years by the regional council with the State and the CRESS. A legal obligation, these regional conferences are also an opportunity to promote inspiring initiatives carried out by local actors and to involve other levels of territorial authorities.

Thematic workshops prior to the regional SSE conference in New Aquitaine

Prior to its regional SSE conferences co-organised with CRESS and the State, CRESS Nouvelle-Aquitaine is developing thematic workshops involving SSE actors from different sectors of activity with regional elected officials in charge of these issues (food and short circuits, revitalisation of territories, employment, etc.).

Organising cross-cutting activities by making SSE actors known to the various departments

Disseminating knowledge of the SSE to all elected officials and employees is an essential condition for the SSE to permeate all policies. This can be done through actions around responsible public procurement, or meetings and events around the SSE. For example, it may involve publicising participatory and citizen-based renewable energy production projects to the department in charge of the energy transition.

A SSE steering committee in Corsica

This SSE Copil, set up in December 2020 as a governance body for the territorial SSE strategy, brings together departments of the Corsican Collectivity and the State, various SSE networks and players, etc. At the same time, an internal organisation across the local authority has been set up with the SSE pilot mission and the establishment of SSE referents in the various departments.

A United SSE Governance in the Grand Est (GUEST)

In the Grand Est region, the regional council has set up since 2018, within the framework of its SRDEII, a United Governance of the SSE in Grand Est (GUEST), associating public partners (local authorities, State, universities) and private partners (URSCOP, Associative Movement, MOUVES, UDES, networks of the IAE, territorial actors) for the development of the SSE in the region (more information in a future sheet).

Communicate and inform about SSE actors and actions implemented

In the regional newspaper/magazine and on the local authority’s website and social networks, in order to raise awareness of local actors and promote policies.

A page dedicated to the SSE on

On its website, the Normandy regional council has a page dedicated to its policy of supporting the development of the SSE.

To go further

  • Page of the ESS France website presenting the CRESS and their contacts

  • Page of the Régions de France website presenting the commission in charge of the SSE

  • Instructions for use: SSE in the regions, Avise, 2016

  • Points de RepèrESS La coconstruction des politiques publiques, RTES, updated in April 2019.