Social Cooperatives in Hungary as Pillars of the Solidarity Economy

Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Management, Economics and Finance

Year: 2023



Social Cooperatives in Hungary as Pillars of the Solidarity Economy

Dr. Katalin Lipták




Social enterprises are seen as the building blocks of the solidarity economy. In the 19th century, the solidarity economy was called into being by the many problems of the modern capitalist market economy, high unemployment, the rise of poverty, and a series of environmental problems. The focus of the solidarity economy is to address some existing social problem and not to make a profit, and therefore many see the role of the solidarity economy as trying to reintegrate the economy into society, also called the third sector. The solidarity economy is often seen as an alternative to capitalist development, a possible new model for development. The most typical type of cooperatives, as opposed to traditional cooperatives, are the new type of cooperatives of the solidarity economy, the social cooperatives.
In this presentation I will describe the social cooperatives in Hungary and present the results of interviews conducted using field research methodology. Out of 3155 settlements in Hungary, 1100 are small villages, i.e. they have a population of less than 500 inhabitants. During the field research I visited settlements that fall into this category. In Hungary’s underdeveloped regions, social cooperatives play a key role in both job creation and community development.

keywords: social enterprises, employment, rural development, social learning