Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is known for pursuing the people-centered prosperity. Through an analysis on SSE practices of South Korea, this paper aims to elaborate the potential of SSE to achieve decent work, social inclusion and social empowerment, which are related to SDGs 1, 5, 8, 10, and 17.
The economic downturn and consequent negative social impacts, including issues of unemployment and work decency, has driven the development of SSE in South Korea. Work integration has been one of the important pillars of SSE in the country since its initial stage. The findings show that SSE can provide jobs for those who were excluded from labour market, increase job stability by changing contract and ownership structure; provide better work conditions and education and training to workers for the self-actualization as social beings. SSE practices for women, people with disability, and North Korean refugees show that SSE has integrated the vulnerable social groups by providing them with better jobs. Organizational transformation and partnership build-up have enabled social empowerment of workers. Although SSE practices in South Korea face constraints and limits in creating social changes, the paper argues that SSE has potentials as ongoing endeavors for an inclusive and equitable society.