The South African Social Economy Draft Green Paper

The social economy is more than just an idea or a discussion, it’s a fundamental part of the South African future.

In February 2019, the South African government released the National Social Economy Draft Green Paper. This document is about how to regulate, improve and measure the social economy. At forgood, we were privileged to be involved in the consultative process undertaken by the Department of Economic Development, ILO, IDC and other organisations in designing this Social Economy Draft Green Paper. The final White Paper will be presented to parliament next year.

The “social economy” will be the economy of the future. It focuses on inclusivity, social cohesion and active citizenship. It may be the ticket to sustainable economic, environmental and social returns.

Why should you care?

  • Because it is the key to unlocking South Africa’s potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Because it is an amplifier for what you’re already doing through Corporate Social Investment (CSI / CSR)
  • Because it currently provides around 250, 000 jobs and could do so much more
  • Because it allows for the private sector and individual citizens to become a part of this economy and drive innovation and change
  • Because anyone can engage in the social economy, especially through your employee volunteering programme

Download the Social Economy Draft Green Paper HERE

Defining the Social Economy.

What is a social enterprise? How does it operate in this new social economy? And are the organisations you’re funding starting to move in this direction? Here’s the working definition from the Green Paper.

The Social Economy is a people-centred approach to economic development based on the principles of sustainable economic activity that stimulates socially and environmentally responsible growth by leveraging and simultaneously building solidarity and social inclusion.

What now? 

How can your business become a part of this social economy and drive the national agenda? The answer lies in understanding the value of the social economy and the gaps that the business can fill. It’s time to incorporate social economy thinking into your impact strategy.

The Green Paper is only 33 pages – highly recommended reading for anyone practicing in this space. Download it here


DID YOU KNOW? The forgood ecosystem contains extensive data on commercial, sustainable and impactful projects in the social economy. Chat to our Programme Management Team about how to leverage this data for impact intelligence, SED spend and development projects. 

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