- 300 representatives of cooperatives, worker-owned companies and associations meet at the 1st Social Economy Meeting in Seville -

Around 113 cooperatives are represented with exhibitors ranging from organic food cultivation to cooperative educational centres

The mayor of the city, Juan Espadas, has been in charge of inaugurating the First Meeting of Social Economy of Seville, which will bring together three hundred public and private entities, agents and experts in this sector at international level and also coincides with the holding of the Second Ibero-American Forum on Social Economy. It will have the participation of 80 speakers.

A total of 113 entities and companies are represented at this fair, which covers multiple areas related to the social economy in Seville: from organic mushroom cultivation and organic fertilizer production to organic cleaning, including book-selling cooperatives, organic food retailers, day care and education cooperatives in general, firms dedicated to producing green energy, creative and cultural spaces, sports services or catering for the social integration of people with functional diversity.

Espadas has stated that “the social economy, and other related types such as the circular or collaborative economy, open up a world of opportunities to create companies and generate employment that is perhaps different, characterised by quality and self-employment”.

Seville as the centre of the debate

The objective is for the capital to be the centre of debate on issues such as the implementation of complementary public currencies; municipalism and the economy and social innovation for employment; local cooperative alliances; social innovation centres in Spain; special centres for employment and integration companies; the third sector and employment; education and the social economy; the 1st Master Plan for Social Innovation, or responsible public procurement, among other aspects. The stage: the Hogar Virgen de los Reyes.

With this initiative, the aim is for this forum to become a permanent venue for a debate within the innovation and social economy sector, as well as to promote networking between social economy entities themselves and with others in the traditional economy. In Seville there are 1,574 social economy entities which, according to calculations by the Employment and Social Welfare Delegation, account for 15 percent of the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP).