In the Erasmus Mundus social and solidarity economy project, social/solidarity economy organisations/enterprises were considered to be those that:
- give priority to people over capital. (Capital is a means and not an end);
- aim to serve their members or the community as a whole, instead of striving for financial profit alone;
- are catalytic organizations for employment creation and/or self-employment;
- are neither private businesses nor public agencies;
- are market and trading oriented;
- have democratic governance, where decision making process involves users, workers and beneficiaries;
- are based on principles such as: participatory governance, solidarity and caring for human resources, sustainability of natural resources, individual and collective responsibility and accountability for outcomes;
- use profits to further the social aims of the enterprise for sustainable development and for the common good.
- It is sometimes known as the economy for common good. It includes the parts of the not-for-profit sector which involve trading, such as social enterprises and co-operatives.