The social economy refers to a "third sector", largely distinct from the traditional private and public sectors. It brings together mainly non-profit organisations, cooperative enterprises, mutual societies and foundations. The Walloon decree of 20 November 2008 defines the "social economy" as "economic activities producing goods or services, conducted by companies: primarily cooperative societies and/or social purpose companies, non-profit organisations, mutual societies or foundations, whose ethics convey the following principles:
1. placing services to the community or to their members ahead of profit;
2. autonomous management;
3. democratic decision-making process;
4. primacy of people and work over capital in the distribution of revenues."
In order to make the social economy better known, we propose, in the "Clues" section, definitions and syntheses (in French) on the main themes related to the sector. We also present the statistical analyses that have been carried out in the last years by the Centre and which made exhaustive data on the social economy in Belgium available. The "press articles" section brings together texts for non-specialists signed by the Centre's members. Finally, we also propose a few links, to websites that help to better understand the reality of the social economy sector in Belgium.