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Social Economy

A social economy means the economic activity by social enterprises, cooperatives, community enterprises, self-sufficiency enterprises, mutual benefit associations, and private organizations which follow the principle of putting priority on humans and labor over capital when it comes to members’ or public society’s goal, autonomy in management, democratic decision-making process, and profit distribution.

International society including Korea has recently paid attention to the social economy due to the following advantages: i) the social economy can diversify the current economic system which puts too much focus on capitalism; ii) as the social economy encourages various parties interested to put more priority on common, social and regional interest over their individual interest, it can bring about social integration, social stability, and income redistribution.

The Social Enterprises Subcommittee provides legal advice to various social economy organizations including social enterprises and engages in improving laws and systems.

Experts of the Subcommittee advise not only social economy organizations, but also intermediate support organizations, relevant ministries and local governments. The scope of advice by the Subcommittee includes all legal issues arising to social economy organizations, e.g., issues related to establishment including type of organization, review of various contracts, intellectual property rights, social finance, trade disputes, and interpretation of relevant laws related to business operation.

Rather than providing one-time legal advice, the Subcommittee continues to provide advice as social enterprises grow. The Subcommittee in person engages in promoting the social economy: it buys goods produced or mediated by social enterprises for the law firm’s internal use or donates goods needed by social enterprises.

The Subcommittee conducts researches to improve relevant legal systems including the Social Enterprise Promotion Act and the Framework Act on Cooperatives, provides legislative support services, and builds database on relevant legal systems based on the data (e.g., domestic and foreign policy materials and papers) accumulated in the course of providing legal advice and conducting researches.

The Subcommittee holds seminars on social economy, social enterprises, cooperatives, social finance, etc. by inviting outside lecturers or playing documentaries.
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