Article by Ripess Intercontinental, November 2019
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
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
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
- Empower and strengthen women’s capacities within collectives with
income-generating activities and SSE initiatives with gender
- Contribute to the strengthening and transformation of women’s
economic activities towards viable entrepreneurial initiatives that
create collective wealth.
It has 4 main sections:
- Introduction to the plural economy
- Entrepreneurship Preparation
- Steps to develop an SSE entrepreneurial initiative with a gender perspective
- 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
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)