The diaries are a compilation of stories about the impact of social economy. We launched the idea to show, through your voice, how a resilient, regenerative form of economy is not only possible: it is actually a reality.
Why to participate
Social economy is complex, rich, versatile but not always well understood. Your story shows why it makes sense to think beyond profit and how people of all kind, all over the world, are addressing serious, profound wounds in our planet with determination, commitment and optimism.
In addition, stories like yours give decision makers and advocates a stronger and louder voice to support a more resilient and sustainable economy.
Finally, with your consent, your story may become featured in our of our posts on social media and/or in the open diaries that we will produce and distribute digitally as part of our policy activities at the European Commission.
Conditions to be featured
Keep it personal & avoid direct promotion! We give preference to stories told from a personal perspective that clearly help to understand the impacts of social economy beyond the achievements of a particular business. Direct promotional pieces will have a very low priority and will not be featured.
The Diaries are a collection of experiences by social entrepreneurs, their collaborators and employees, those who support their activities and finally those who benefit from their products and services.
If you decide to contribute, you will be asked to tell a story about your experience in Social Economy. This is the key of the exercise. Then, you will be asked to answer to a set of questions about your story, such as:
- where did the story happen?
- what impacts did it create on you?
- did it address a societal challenge? An environmental one? Both? ...etcetera
Aside from being an inspiration to others, the stories will give insights on the specific needs of this still delicate part of our economy.
A selection of stories will be edited and published as open diaries in a small downloadable booklet that will also be distributed across Europe to policymakers, citizens, opinion leaders and fellow entrepreneurs.
Share your experience!
As a social entrepreneur you know what it means to run a business with purpose. You know about the hard work, the challenges, the rewards, the impact. Share your experience and make it count!
As an employee, your story shows social economy from within. Share your motivation, the good and bad moments, the experience on the job, and make them count!
As a consumer, you see the final results, the products and the services. Share what they mean for you, why you choose them, how you use them and why you think they make a difference.
There is no limit to the number of stories you can tell. If you have time and energy, you can definitely add more than one story!
Writing the story and answering to the questions usually takes from 15 to 20 minutes. Are you ready?
If you are not ready...
Remember to share this page!
A selection of stories
The stories below have been selected to be part of the open diary!
Stories have been edited and company names have been removed.
A small coffee roaster  travels to Ethiopia and buys green coffee directly from a coffee farmer without intermediary trade. They invest part of the profit in the construction of local schools. I was surprised how many people in Ethiopia can benefit from this.
An engineering firm  provides energy consulting services in Mannheim until they have made the necessary turnover. With the rest of the time and the profit left over, they go to affected countries in Africa and build wells there, because as engineers they can easily do that. The impact is innumerable. In both cases, direct social impact is in the countries described, but the jobs of the companies are created here, so we have good arguments for supporting these companies.
image: Sandra Mahle
During the Covid-19 crisis, , a mutual insurance company [in France], called upon its militants, elected representatives and employees to reinforce [their service in support of people in difficult conditions] by contacting more than 255,000 elderly people living alone and single-parent families, without any commercial objective. This demonstrates what mutualism is all about: an evolving, innovative, inclusive solidarity, serving general interest by limited profit-making.
My colleague has started about 10 years ago a social enterprise in Amsterdam, a fashion brand, where (multi-problem) street teens make their own (street) fashion. It turns out that there are many teens who do not have a house, but do have a great sense of style and fashion – especially because it is one of the only things they still have, while living on the street. What I like most about [them] is that it addresses a very difficult group of people in the social domain not on what they are not good at, but helps with something that they are good at. The teens get 10% of the sales price of the products that are sold and many get a lot more self-confidence and income. 3 years ago they started a second studio in Berlin, and last year they opened a third one in New York. A lot of big fashion brands want to use the inspiration coming from [this project].