Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

Social enterprises and entrepreneurship of workers in the framework of the Social Doctrine of the Church: contributions on their emergence and diffusion in different media.

Pérez Calle Begoña, University of Zaragoza
Marta Lazo Carmen, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Departamento de Lingüística General e Hispánica
Gabelas Barroso José Antonio, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Departamento de Lingüística General e Hispánica

The encyclical Rerum Novarum raised several questions for social Catholicism that came next. These were the subject of lively discussion among the various schools, which included issues such as the minimum wage, the limits of interventionism or the legitimacy of professional associationism. The ambiguity, almost inevitable because of the existing controversy, did not close any debate dogmatically, but would allow to move towards new experiences, as was the case of the first companies of social entrepreneurship. Since the publication of the encyclical and during the first years of the twentieth century, the Franciscan philosophy of Leo XIII led to an invitation: that the world should reflect according to a new organization. This organization should follow the social model of the Third Order of Saint Francis, a conceptual social challenge that would develop a new business model, based on entrepreneurial attitudes and based on a harmonious and fraternal capital-work relationship that would reject the maximization of profit. For this, a basic and necessary point was the search of the means of diffusion and/or propaganda for these new initiatives. Actually, at that time, the number of publications and congresses on this subject experienced an important growth. In them, many reflections were made about a new order of society based on this type of economic model. This paper tries to reflect on that moment, from the description of concrete experiences such as the social enterprise of Leon Harmel. To carry out this analysis, it is necessary to make a journey through the media used: periodical and non-periodic publications, Catholic congresses in general and tertiary Franciscans in particular, pilgrimages, etc ... to try to analyze a hypothesis: if during that time and situation took root a first social entrepreneurship, worker prominence and Christian inspiration. From there, it is about analyzing its influence on the philosophy of social entrepreneurship that we know today.


Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Social Doctrine of the Church, Third Order, Social Enterprise

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