A guide to SSE entrepreneurship from a gender perspective

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Quartiers du Monde (QDM) publishes the guide “Accompanying social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a gender perspective”. The purpose of this document is to provide tools for alternative entrepreneurship for women’s socio-economic autonomy.

Quartiers du Monde (QDM), a French international solidarity NGO and member of RIPESS “Women and SSE” working group, publishes the guide “Accompanying social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a gender perspective“. The guide proposes tools to entrepreneurship differently and reach the women socio-economic autonomy. This guide is the product of a co-construction between organizations from Latin America, Africa and France.

Why do women pay more attention to others than they receive? The profound inequality in the use of the time that mark our societies must challenge us all. It should be noted that women’s time is still considered an inexhaustible resource, an adjustment variable between the irreconcilable logics of the market economy and life.

It is therefore essential to reflect on how to build other ways of doing business, based on the thinking of women involved in Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) companies. Thus, this guide was created on the basis of the South-South-North network program “Women of the World: A Network of Women Entrepreneurs in Solidarity” and is based on two pillars: SSE and the gender perspective (GP). This orientation is intended to respond to the observation that the registration of an activity in the SSE field is not sufficient to promote equality between women and men despite the values established within the SSE.

Thus, by integrating SSE within a gender perspective, this guide follows a conceptual approach and a method of intervention that aims at real equality between women and men to counter the effects of certain initiatives through gender mainstreaming, in order to transform the gender inequality generated by patriarchal and neoliberal systems in the world.

Goals and objectives

The guide ” Accompanying social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a gender perspective ” provides training and reinforcement of the linguistic skills that accompany any social and solidarity entrepreneurial initiative in a facilitator’s gender perspective. As well as a collective reflection on the issues addressed, which places women entrepreneurs as protagonists in each stage of their business initiatives, from creation to consolidation.

The guide also enables entrepreneurs to make decisions based on their territory, giving them a viable financial vision and social justice, working towards transforming women’s economic activities into viable business initiatives and creating collective wealth.

The main objectives, as presented at a RIPESS Women and SSE Group webinar in late 2017, are:

  • Empower and strengthen the facilitators’ capacities and groups and networks leaders to support social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a gender perspective.
  • Empower and strengthen women’s capacities within collectives with income-generating activities and SSE initiatives with gender perspective.
  • Contribute to the strengthening and transformation of women’s economic activities towards viable entrepreneurial initiatives that create collective wealth.

It has 4 main sections:

  1. Introduction to the plural economy
  2. Entrepreneurship Preparation
  3. Steps to develop an SSE entrepreneurial initiative with a gender perspective
  4. Additional information and tools

And each section includes dynamic proposals, descriptive content, real examples, as well as exercises and various other additional materials in the form of videos, fact sheets, etc.

The guide can be used by different groups, women or mixed, cooperatives, social organizations, etc., and can be implemented with other methods that accompany the creation of social solidarity entrepreneurship, as its contribution focuses on the women and men’s transformation.

Finally, it should be kept in mind that it is a guide and it can -and should be- adapted to each context, as it provides a solid basis for the evolution and support of processes when creating justice and equality in neighborhoods and communities.

Facilitators who use these resources encourage discussion, reflection and planning to promote a more inclusive, fair and equal SSE between women and men, so the most important thing is this fact.

The process of reflection and work behind the development of the guide

The guide is the result of a sixty-month process of reflection and learning. During this period, nine women’s associations and ten women leaders – present in working-class neighborhoods in Latin America, East Africa and Northern France – worked to integrate the gender perspective into SSE using various tools.

The advisors, the program’s international coordination and the facilitators met during five formative face-to-face meetings (in Bolivia 2017 and 2013, Morocco in 2014, Colombia in 2015, Paris in 2016).

In addition, they contacted each other virtually, through the network forum and a webinar platform, to discuss the tools’ application, the relevance and response of women, and to systematize learning. The resources were co-constructed by all stakeholders, and the associations made a cultural adaptation and translated into their original languages.

RIPESS and Quartiers du Monde join forces around the guide

In 2018, a pilot training based on the guide was carried out in Mali, within the SSE network, RENAPESS.

This experience led to an idea for a joint project between RIPESS and Quartiers du Monde, which is currently being developed. The central idea would be the formation of pilot RIPESS SSE networks in the gender approach of various countries and continents. This project would include the application of the knowledge and skills acquired in the operation of the networks themselves, in their activities to support collectives, and in their advocacy work on SSE and gender. Without forgetting the convergence with other movements of transformative economies around the subject thanks to the visions and skills acquired, echoing the current dynamic of convergences of transformative economies in which both RIPESS and Quartiers du Monde participate (World Social Forum of Transformative Economies)

Ripess
RIPESS is a worldwide network of continental networks promoting the Social Solidarity Economy, in order to transform our economy by putting people and the planet at the center of our activities.

entrepreneurship gender perspective QDM SSE Women and SSE