> Social entrepreneurship in Brussels

Social entrepreneurship represents one of the major challenges of the regional economic transition. As the Brussels Agency for business support,’ mission is to guide your company towards a more solidarity-based model of entrepreneurship.

The Belgian Observatory of the Social Economy in Brussels identifies more than 5,000 non-profits, companies and cooperatives with a social purpose, foundations and mutual organisations which produce goods and services in every field of activity: personal services, culture, sustainable food, construction, housing, education, etc.

If you are one of the above, you are without doubt pleased with the content of the Declaration of the general policy of Brussels for the 2019-2024 legislature. The Brussels-Capital Region is committed to placing transition at the centre of its economic strategy. And to progressively orienting all economic support tools towards – among other things – social and democratic entrepreneurship.

This is the reason why is putting the development of the social economy in Brussels at the top of its list of priorities. First step: implementing a strategy for the development of social companies in Brussels for the next five years.

What is social entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship seeks to reconcile economic activity and social equity. The product of the labour movement in the 19th century and reinforced by the creation and development of the non-profit movement in Europe, the social economy is today a fully fledged mode of entrepreneurship.

According to the EMES network, social entrepreneurship consists of three pillars:

  • A project has a social and/or environmental objective; this implies limiting the distribution of profits, a moderate wage gap (1 to 4 maximum between the lowest and the highest salary), an explicit objective of service to the community and/or service with a social purpose.
  • The project is economically viable, with continuous economic activity in the production of goods and/or services, significant risk-taking and job creation.
  • Governance is democratic, which implies a high level of autonomy, a decision-making process not based on capital ownership, and participatory dynamics including the different stakeholders.

Testimony of a social economy company

Are you a social company recognised by the Brussels-Capital Region? Then you can benefit from several advantages!

Through what project(s) is involved in social entrepreneurship?

Our Agency’s commitment to the development of a social economy in Brussels is reflected in its participation in several regional initiatives. 

COOPCITY: a social entrepreneurship centre

With the support of the European Regional Development Fund, the social entrepreneurship centre COOPCITY provides an environment which fosters cooperation and collaboration between the various players of the social economy in Brussels. Through its various support programmes, our partner oversees innovation and the launch and development of social companies in Brussels.

BISSIB: a network dedicated to social innovation

A network that brings together entrepreneurs, researchers, federations and public authorities interested in creating social innovation in Brussels was founded in 2019.

Supported by several organisations, including, BISSIB (Brussels Innovation Sociale – Sociale Innovatie in Brussel) seeks to encourage multidisciplinary players to work together to drive experimentation and bring about, consolidate and spread social innovation that meets the needs of the population and region.

Do you have questions about social entrepreneurship in Brussels? Contact Quentin!

Quentin Crespel

Sustainable Economy

Tél +32 498 65 20 38

Candice Francescato

COOPCITY Coordinator at

Tel: 0497 38 48 42

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