A workshop on the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) project of the Governorate of Sousse took place on 11 July, with the Governate welcoming around 30 attendees to its headquarters.

In the frame of a project funded by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation for the support and promotion of the Social and Solidary Economy in the region, MedCities together with the Governorate of Sousse, has launched a process of participatory diagnosis on the opportunities and challenges that this sector is facing.

On 11th July, after having completed a round of interviews with relative actors, a first sensitization and training workshop was organized, addressing the public institutions active in SSE in order to clarify the concepts and the normative base at national level, present a first overview of SSE initiatives in the region of Sousse and consolidate the steps to follow for the participatory diagnosis.

Consultant to the project Mohamed Ben Massoud presented details of the initiative, outlining differences been social economy and solidarity economy, identifying several principles of solidarity. He also addressed the distribution of economic benefits, different kinds of cooperatives and associations, and discussed the presence of such institutions in Tunisia. Some obstacles were also identified to the growth of this sector, such as a lack of credit, management problems and the absence of a legal framework.

In the following months, MedCities will organize interviews with economic actors and focus group discussions on this issue in order to draft a descriptive report and identify a series of actions to support the development of SSE in the governorate, with the aim to foster further cooperation and joint planning on this issue.