17 October 2023, Barcelona – Over 80 social economy actors and entrepreneurs gathered in Barcelona to participate in the fourth edition of the UfM Social Economy Conference. Co-organised by the UfM Secretariat, the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Entrepreneurs (CEPES) and the German Development Cooperation, and co-sponsored by the European Union, this year’s event focused to two interrelated themes: promoting social entrepreneurship and the participation of women in the Social Economy.
The Social Economy, driven by solidarity and the belief in people over capital, is currently experiencing heightened global recognition as a vehicle of social cohesion, job creation, inclusive growth, and as a means of meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is supported by UfM member states as a vector for unlocking resources and delivering social and economic value. The Social Economy is high on the UfM agenda, as evidenced by the May 2022 Ministerial Declaration emanating from the UfM Ministerial on Employment and Labour, and is promoted through regional dialogue and consensus building. This aligns with the adoption of the EU Social Economy Action Plan providing a framework to further support the development of the Social Economy until 2030.
The Social Economy Conference built on previous UfM events on the matter, bringing together a broad spectrum of sectoral partners and stakeholders to exchange insights and experiences in order to address current opportunities and challenges. Attendees discussed best practices with the aim of unleashing the full potential of social economy entrepreneurship and facilitating the active engagement of women. Recommendations emanating from the conference will guide future actions on promoting this sector across the Euro-Mediterranean region.