The Social Economy in Portugal: legal regime and socio-economic characterization


The main objective of this article is to provide an updated portrait of the Social Economy sector in Portugal. For this purpose, we first analyse how in Portugal the concept of Social Economy has been defined and delimited, particularly by legal means. The difficulties in establishing clear and unquestionable boundaries are highlighted, as well as the observation of the concept from the diversity that composes it, both in terms of guiding principles and of groups of entities that integrate this sector. Subsequently, a quantitative portrait of the Portuguese Social Economy is drawn, with the most recent data, made public in 2019 and for 2016, as a source. These data result from work done by the National Statistics Institute (INE - Statistics Portugal) through the Social Economy Satellite Account. In addition to the main general indicators of the sector (number of units, gross value added, main activities, groups of entities, total and paid employment), a specific analysis by groups of entities is also carried out. By making use of Satellite Account to draw this picture, we aim to provide conceptually structured statistical information with a form and content that may facilitate its subsequent use in the context of broader studies, both diachronic analysis as well as international comparisons.

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