After many years working and conducting research in the field of solidarity economy I have had the opportunity to see many successful businesses created, and others fail. Having participated in several projects, successful and unsuccessful, provided support and training to others, and studied and analyzed this type of business, I believe I have learned a fair amount about what makes for the success or failure of solidarity economy initiatives, or, as I call them here “solidarity enterprises.”
The theory of solidarity economy offered here, based on experience and practical application, is intended to help you in your own process of business creation by providing key elements for organizing and operating effective solidarity enterprises, relating to the market, managing resources and operations, and resolving problems, difficulties, and internal conflicts.
This manual presents in an ordered and simple manner the principal lessons I have learned from both practice and theory regarding how to create, organize, and develop solidarity enterprises, so that they can grow to their full potential and provide optimal benefits to their participants and the social environment in which they grow.
It is my hope that this manual will be of use to people and groups who want to create a solidarity enterprise in which to work, obtaining the means to live with dignity and progressing economically, socially, and culturally, as well as to those working in institutions or support organizations of some kind who are trying to facilitate the formation and development of solidarity initiatives of various types, scales, and characteristics.
– Luis Razeto Migliaro
The solidarity group and the C Factor
Needs, market, profit
The theorem of defined proportions
Member contributions and group development of factors
Donations, subsidies, loans, and solidarity funds
Forms of property, recruitment of members, and management structure
Payment for labor and distribution of surplus.
Final Project 1 – Write the Bylaws and Internal Rules for your enterprise
Final Project 2 – Create your Business Plan
Each Unit is designed to be done in two sessions of group study, followed by a “jornada” or practicum in which participants organize and carry out a learning-organizing activity. Between the sessions and the Jornadas, readings, exercises, and activities have been provided for participants to do individually or in small groups.
Each Unit includes the following elements:
- The Plan for the Session
- Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Individual Tasks
- Group Tasks and Exercises
- Practical Activities (Jornadas)
- A Glossary
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