The very definition that social innovation “meets social needs” clearly positions its mission as one of transforming society, against a background of increasing impoverishment, limits to the use of fossil fuels for energy, the digital divide, the decline of public services in rural areas, an ageing population, the isolation of the elderly, the growing demand for organic food, etc.
Spending cuts in the public sector, the overall drop in private investment and the decline in purchasing power are leading the French population to seek solutions via various types of social innovation:
- Decline in consumption and purchasing power
- Decline in private funding
- Decline in public funding and cuts in social policies despite the crisis tending to increase social inequalities
- Desire to develop a sustainable and responsible economy
- Taking environmental requirements into account
Though social innovation can involve any type of organisation, independent of its status or its business sector, this form of innovation is emerging in particular within organisations belonging to the social and solidarity-based economy. In 2013, the number of employees working in the social economy continued to rise. The highest rises were to be found in foundations and cooperatives.
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