Social economy – why do you get involved?

By | February 19, 2013

According to Ash Amin (2009) in his book The Social Economy: International Perspectives on Economic Solidarity “Relatively little is known about why people get involved in the social economy – as entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers – and even less is known about how they perceive the experience or what they gain from it”.

I was very happy to receive an email today from Felix Kwabena Donkor, who is doing an MSc in Environmental Management and Sustainability Sciences in Aalborg University Denmark, about his experiences volunteering in Ghana (below).

Referring to Ash Amin’s quote above, I’m wondering if we can start to answer the questions about why people get involved in social and solidarity economy activities, and what we gain from it. Please post a comment or email me:



Enhancing rural agriculture

Farmer GhanaClose to 70% of the population in Ghana and Africa live in rural areas with agriculture being the mainstay of the rural economy. In Northern Ghana the

Ghanaimpact of climate change and poor farming practices have led to the situation where farmers farm for only half of the year. This coupled with population growth has aggravated the livelihood of these rural communities.

The Conservation Agriculture project under the auspices of CARE-Ghana in collaboration with some community based non-governmental organisation seeks to reverse this trend.  Conservation agriculture (CA) refers 
to a set of practices/procedures that ensure higher agricultural productivity and profitability whilst improving soil health and the environment. 

Volunteering on this project was a fulfilling and enriching experience seeing smiles on the faces of the farmers. 


2 thoughts on “Social economy – why do you get involved?

  1. Leonard Akwany

    I am the founder of Ecofinder Kenya ( and our motto is environmental entrepreneurship for sustainable communities. Likewise Erasmus Mundus Scholarship beneficiary where I did Msc in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM) (2006-2008). I work with many entrepreneurs and volunteers involved in various aspect of social economy. There are several motivations; working towards solving community problems such as safe and healthy source of energy, fighting for a cause as affected member of society for instance when your child, brother, sister or relative die from polluted water and you intervene to provide solution to avoid repeat, gaining experience for meaningful job in the future especially common with volunteers, earning a living or promoting innovation among others.

    1. Margaret Meredith Post author

      Thanks Leonard and congratulations on all your work with Ecofinder Kenya. The work you are doing is urgent and impressive. The sense of motivation of people who are touched to address the pressing problems they see around them comes through very strongly in the ‘profile’ on the web site.

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