Solidarity economy and recycling coops in São Paulo: micro-credit to alleviate poverty

Lack of working capital hinders collective commercialisation of recyclables. Social exclusion and bureaucratic constraints prevent recyclers from accessing official bank loans. As they continue to depend on intermediaries, the cycle of poverty, dependency, and exclusion is perpetuated. The article discusses collective commercialisation and the micro-credit fund created among 30 recycling groups in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. A committee of eight women recyclers manages this fund. The article contextualises reflections on empowerment and community-based development, applying the theoretical framework of social and solidarity economy. The author finally suggests that inclusive governance structures have the potential to generate greater justice and sustainability.