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Chair in Social and Solidarity Economics (SSE)

Chairs and projects

Chair in Social and Solidarity Economics (SSE)

Officer: Eric BIDET

The Chair in Social and Solidarity Economics (SSE) was created in November 2014 to formalise and organise the partnership between the SSE Masters and professional organisations which actively participate in its operation. Its main vocation is to provide support for activities related to the SSE Masters and to contribute to the influence and development of this educational programme of the Université du Maine dedicated to the social and solidarity economy. The Chair in SSE is part of the SSE inter-Chairs group within the inter-university Network in SSE (RIUESS).

The Chair in SSE has developed two preferred partnerships: one with the Fédération Nationale de la Mutualité Française (National Federation of French Mutual Societies) which has been a partner of the Chair in SSE since its creation in 2014, and the other with the Mutualité Pays de Loire (Pays de Loire Mutual Societies) which has been a partner since 2015. These two organisations provide the Chair in SSE with most of the financial resources which it has available to carry out its programme of action.

The operation of the Chair in SSE is overseen by a steering committee and an executive committee. The steering committee is responsible for guiding and approving changes in the project, whilst ensuring that it remains in line with the objectives of the Chair in SSE. It also fulfils the function of “conseil de perfectionnement” (programme enhancement board) for the Masters in Social and Solidarity Economy. The executive committee is responsible for implementing the necessary actions in order to allow the implementation of the Chair in SSE's programme of work and the deployment of its budget.

The Chair in SSE has also developed relations with the MGEN within the framework of the MGEN SSE Masters mixed learning system which combines training and VAE (accreditation for life and work experience programme) and is based on research carried out in SSE within ARGUMans. This system, which was introduced in 2016, won the AEF Grand Prix for Continued Education in 2017 and the PEPS Award for lifelong learning in 2019. It has hosted around a hundred interns since 2016 and was the subject of an M2 SSE research internship in 2019 in the ARGUMans laboratory.


Charles Gide professionals seminars

Each academic semester the Chair in SSE organises a Charles Gide professional seminar which brings together SSE professionals, teacher-researchers and masters students for a half-day around a theme relating to SSE. These seminars are integrated into the training offered to SSE Masters students and, depending on their topic, can also be offered to students enrolled in other courses in the university. They also provide an opportunity to hear from former students of the SSE Masters or from the IUP Charles Gide, who provide students in training with the benefit of their experience in vocational integration.

The first seminars organised by the Chair in SSE focused on innovative practices in SSE (with representatives from the Ville du Mans, from CRESS Pays de Loire, from CGSCOP, from CENTICH, from theUniversity of Angers, from JINOV’, from Makesense), young people and SSE (in collaboration with Ressources solidaires, the URSCOP Poitou-Charente, Solidarité étudiante, Concordia Normandie-Maine), the approach to risk in mutuals (with representatives from MGEN, from MAIF and from FNMF), SSE and agriculture (in partnership with Coop de France and the Fédération sarthoise des CUMA), SSE and medico-social (with contributions from the head of the Pôle Santé/Autonomie de la Mutualité Anjou Mayenne and local directors of l’ADAPEI and of l’ADGESTI), participatory finance (with contributions on micro-assurance, crowdfunding and solidarity finance), employment and human resources in SSE (with representatives of the VyV group, the UDES, the CRESS Pays de Loire, and the University of Lyon).


Academic conferences and thematic days

The Chair in SSE also encourages or participates in the organisation of academic meetings or thematic days on SSE.

In November 2015, along with the ARGUMans and THEMISUM laboratories, it co-organised the conference entitled “Different perspectives on the SSE law of 31 July 2014” which gave rise to some twenty talks aimed at analysing the impacts of the 2014 law in the fields of law and management of SSE companies. Representatives of SSE organisations Harmonie mutuelle, URSCOP Pays de Loire, FNMF, CoopFR, Coopaname) and teacher-researchers (University of Paris I, University of Rennes 2, Le Mans Université) made contributions to this conference, proposing to combine the different perspectives of management and law on the SSE law.

In December 2016, the Chair in SSE co-organised the 4th international research days “Management of Social and Solidarity Enterprises” (GESS) in partnership with the ICSEM -International Comparative Social Enterprise Models - project which covers some fifty countries around the world. The GESS Days gave rise to around 25 communications involving researchers from around thirty establishments, including half a dozen abroad. The full GESS programme is available online: https://gess2016.sciencesconf.org/

In November 2017, the Chair in SSE organised a thematic day on SSE and the collaborative economy, in the context of the collaboration between the two ARGUMans and THEMISUM laboratories.


Meetings with authors

In 2019, the Chair in SSE initiated a different type of meeting by inviting Stéphane Junique (President of the Harmonie group) and Timothée Duverger (teacher at the IEP Bordeaux) to come to present and discuss the book which they co-wrote together: L’égalité impossible ?(Equality impossible?) (Les Petits Matins).


Professional conferences

The Chair in SSE also provides support for the programme of professional conferences offered as part of the SSE Masters: over the two years of training (M1 and M2), around thirty professional conferences and site visits are offered to the students in education.


Support for research in SSE

The Chair in SSE acts in support of the dissemination of research work in SSE carried out by members of the ARGUMans team.


International partnerships

As part of research projects on SSE, the Chair in SSE has forged partnerships with Asian, European and North American universities. in partnership with the FNMF and the Caisse Mutuelle Socio-médicale du Liban, it also organises a conference and training in SSE aimed at mutual directors and managers in Lebanon.

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