Solidarity Cooperatives

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= "Solidarity cooperatives” are multi-stakeholder coops, bringing togther all parties involved in a particular endeavor―workers, consumers, producers and members of the larger community―in a democratic structure of ownership and control. [1]

Book Chapter

  • Solidarity Co-operatives (Quebec, Canada). How Social Enterprises can Combine Social and Economic Goals. By Jean-Pierre Girard, Geneviève Langlois. OECD, 2009


Chapter from: The Changing Boundaries of Social Enterprises [2]


"In many European countries, multi-stakeholder co-operatives provide a positive contribution to the renewal of the co-operative model by offering relevant answers to new needs that combine social and economic dimensions. However, in North America, this model has a very limited impact, except in the Canadian province of Quebec where solidarity cooperatives can be found. In the ten-year period from 1997 to 2007, 479 solidarity co-operatives were created. The solidarity co-operative was developed to attract new key players of the civil society. Indeed, solidarity co-operatives can be set up in many original ways in various branches of industry, including new ones for co-operatives such as environment, leisure, fair trade and health care. After an overview of the development of multi-stakeholder co-operatives from a global perspective, this chapter explains the genesis of the idea behind solidarity co-operatives in Quebec and present the legal provisions which define the concept and which prescribe its policies. This is followed by a brief portrait of the development of the formula following the legal act which led to its existence in 1997, and by data that relates to the current number of co-operatives and participant members, branches of the industry and their regional distribution. The last section offers an overview of the key findings of a research project dedicated to the impact of solidarity cooperatives on social cohesion and will focus on solidarity co-operatives evolving in the health care sector. A set of recommendations concludes the chapter." (

More Information

  • Girard, J-P (2004) “Solidarity Cooperatives in Quebec (Canada): an Overview” in: C. Borzaga

and R. Spear (Eds.), Trends and Challenges for Co-operatives and Social Enterprises in Developed and Transition Countries, Edizioni 31, Trento, Italy.

  • Girard, J-P. (2009) “Solidarity Co-operatives (Quebec, Canada): How Social Enterprises can

Combine Social and Economic Goals” in Noya, A. (Ed.), The Changing Boundaries of Social Enterprises. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 14"

  • Lund, M. (2010). Solidarity as a Business Model: A Multi-stakeholder Cooperative Manual.

Kent, Ohio. Cooperative Development Center, Kent State University.