hub.brussels > The social economy in Brussels

The social economy represents one of the major challenges of the regional economic transition. As the Brussels Agency for business support, hub.brussels’ 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 hub.brussels 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 the social and solidarity economy?

The social economy or social and solidarity economy 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.

It targets economic activities which produce goods or services, like the classic economy. But, as underscored by EconomieSociale.be, it differs from it by its community purpose, which is in the interest of the community at large.

This type of economy is based on a number of principles, including:

  • Management autonomy with regard to public authorities;
  • The primacy of people and labour over capital with regard to the redistribution of profits;
  • The purpose of providing services to the community instead of focusing on profit;
  • A democratic decision-making process.

What is a social economy company?

A social economy company is, as defined by Brussels Economy and Employment:

a company which implements an economic project while also pursuing a social purpose and exercising democratic governance.

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

Through what project(s) is hub.brussels involved in the social economy?

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

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 hub.brussels, 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 the social economy in Brussels? Contact Quentin!

Quentin Crespel

Sustainable Economy

Tél +32 498 65 20 38