Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)

1990-1097 (online)
1990-1100 (print)
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A series of reports from OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED). The LEED Programme identifies analyses and disseminates innovative ideas for local development, governance and the social economy. Governments from OECD member and non-member economies look to LEED and work through it to generate innovative guidance on policies to support employment creation and economic development through locally based initiatives. See also OECD Reviews of Local Job Creation under Related Reading.

Also available in French
The Changing Boundaries of Social Enterprises

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Edited By:Antonella Noya
16 Jan 2009
9789264055513 (PDF) ;9789264055261(print)

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Social enterprises are entering a new phase of consolidation after overcoming various challenges over the last 10 years in their efforts to foster sustainable local development, help create local wealth and jobs, and fight social exclusion. This book contains recommendations for national and local policy makers and presents a set of international best practices based on new legislation that has been enacted, novel frontiers that have opened up, and support and financial tools that have been developed.
Also available in Korean
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  • Executive Summary
    Far from being a phenomenon "à la mode", social entrepreneurship, in its various forms, represents nowadays a consolidated, growing trend in most OECD member and non-member countries. 
  • New Frontiers in the Legal Structure and Legislation of Social Enterprises in Europe
  • Social Enterprises in OECD Member Countries
    This chapter focuses on the emergence of financial instruments and enabling environments for social enterprises in selected OECD countries, with particular focus on Western European countries, Canada and the United States, and possible strategies for supporting their development in Eastern European Countries. As social enterprises continue to draw the attention of national governments and local authorities alike in the fight against unemployment and social exclusion, they are also being embraced by civil society as a way of addressing unmet needs in a sustainable manner. Social enterprises are emerging in numerous sectors producing goods and services, thereby increasingly demonstrating their capacity as economic actors. They are similarly considered as key to socio-economic transformation in transitional economies. As the chapter suggests, the incompatibility of an existing investment framework, tied to outmoded and fixed categories that do not correspond to the new reality of social enterprises and their investment needs, requires cultural adaptation of the financial, legal, accounting and policy communities internationally to this new reality before the appropriate and enabling tools can be designed. For social finance to become sustainable finance, an integrated approach has to be adopted that is distinct from traditional capital markets. In conclusion, and regardless of the breadth of instruments available, the real potential of social enterprises will only be realised if they are integrated into a systemic approach to social exclusion, labour market transformation, and territorial (place-based) socio-economic development strategies that requires innovative public policy. 
  • Networks as Support Structures for Social Enterprises
    One of the key characteristics of social enterprises – businesses which seek not to maximise profits, but to provide a service to society by trading in the market – is the strength of their relational element. The quality of the services they provide derives essentially from the rich interrelationships that their various stakeholders enjoy. An individual involved with a social enterprise is typically not playing a single role, for example as an investor, customer, employee or client, but has an active voice in its direction and how it fulfils its mission. This richness extends to the relationships that social enterprises have with other organisations, such as public authorities or other businesses. They have a propensity to build networks, whether to exchange information, to improve their practice, to dialogue with government, or to address new challenges – for instance by setting up new enterprises. This means that they need external support of a specific type. This chapter discusses a number of good practice cases which provide support to social enterprises. The cases are divided into four clusters: 1. identity / culture / representation / quality; 2. business support; 3. trade sectoral development, and; 4. local development. The chapter closes with a brief review of the main lessons learned as regards good practices. These lessons will be presented in the form of guidelines addressed to those who, through suitable policies, can support the development and consolidation of support structures for social enterprises. 
  • Social Enterprises and Local Economic Development
    Following many years of development in various forms, a comprehensive and coherent legal framework for social enterprises has recently been introduced as a new legal category in the United Kingdom and in Italy. Their nature, which has been characterised in law by the presence of an explicit social aim, a multi-stakeholder nature of governance, a non-profit constraint and an asset lock, has been partly analysed, though much work is still needed in order to correctly define the economic role of this new typology of firm. Still to be explored in particular is the role of social enterprises in local economic development. This chapter maintains that the basic economic features listed above are all conducive to a vocational role in the processes of endogenously driven local development, since at least the asset lock and the system of multistakeholder governance are best suited to sustain local integration and a bottom-up approach to development.
  • Solidarity Co-operatives (Quebec, Canada)
    In many European countries, multi-stakeholder co-operatives provide a positive contribution to the renewal of the co-operative model by offering relevant answers to new needs that combine social and economic dimensions. However, in North America, this model has a very limited impact, except in the Canadian province of Quebec where solidarity cooperatives can be found. In the ten-year period from 1997 to 2007, 479 solidarity co-operatives were created. The solidarity co-operative was developed to attract new key players of the civil society. Indeed, solidarity co-operatives can be set up in many original ways in various branches of industry, including new ones for co-operatives such as environment, leisure, fair trade and health care. After an overview of the development of multi-stakeholder co-operatives from a global perspective, this chapter explains the genesis of the idea behind solidarity co-operatives in Quebec and present the legal provisions which define the concept and which prescribe its policies. This is followed by a brief portrait of the development of the formula following the legal act which led to its existence in 1997, and by data that relates to the current number of co-operatives and participant members, branches of the industry and their regional distribution. The last section offers an overview of the key findings of a research project dedicated to the impact of solidarity cooperatives on social cohesion and will focus on solidarity co-operatives evolving in the health care sector. A set of recommendations concludes the chapter. 
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