Social economy

This portrait highlights the digital uses of social economy enterprises both in their management practices and to improve the quality of the services they provide to their members and their customers.


The social economy enterprise performs economic activities for social purposes, i.e. it sells or exchanges goods and services not with the aim of making a profit, but rather with the aim of meeting needs of its members or of the host community. The social purpose of these companies can take various forms: the social and professional integration of people far from the labor market, the creation of quality and sustainable jobs, the offer and maintenance of local services, the preservation of the environment, etc. These companies are well anchored in their environment and contribute to the socio-economic vitality of the territories.

The social economy has significant economic weight for Quebec:

1.It has around 7,000 businesses, ie 3,300 cooperatives and 3,700 NPOs.

2.In 2015, these collective enterprises provided employment for 210,000 people.

3.The entire cooperative and mutualist movement (excluding NPOs) generated sales of $ 38 billion in 2015.

This portrait is divided into 3 sections: 

1.Statistical portrait of digital use by collective enterprises thanks to a quantitative survey carried out among 400 cooperatives and NPOs.

2.Overview of the promising uses of digital at the service of the distinctive characteristics of the social economy. Case studies of 13 social economy enterprises which, thanks to their vision and creativity, have initiated a transformation using digital technology.

3.Presentation of the PME 2.0 program and overview of good practices in the realization of a digital project.

Business people group works at a table – Table

Watch portrait of innovative digital uses in social economy enterprises

This report presents the results of a strategic watch on the innovative uses of digital tools by social economy market enterprises (ES) in Quebec and elsewhere . The objective is to identify the uses and practices that promote the achievement of the social mission, growth, productivity and competitiveness of companies, through a review of scientific literature, monitoring of the most successful digital initiatives. , as well as reflective interviews and meetings with Quebec practitioners and researchers.

Social Economy Cohort 2.0

About twenty social economy enterprises participate in a cohort and benefit from support in the first stages of the implementation of their respective digital project, in order to facilitate the achievement of the conditions for the success of such a project. The typical approach offers a 3 to 5-day support program, depending on the types of projects selected and the needs of the company. It is carried out through a series of individual and collective activities.