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Work together newsletter of CICOPA
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Sep - Oct - Nov 2016
SPECIAL DOSSIER > The power of intercooperation

SME cooperatives use intercooperation tools to remain strong and transform society 

What do SMEs cooperative do to remain strong? They have developed different internal cooperative tools to cope with their size. This special dossier analyses the experience of cooperative groups, sectorial cooperative networks, cooperative movement advisory services and various cooperative funds, amongst other tools for entrepreneurial intercooperation. Read more

Horizontal groups and consortia: an important instrument to support innovation and competitiveness

Groupings of cooperatives share the characteristic of being horizontal structures that reflect the democratic governance system found in individual cooperatives. The experiences of the MONDRAGON Corporation, the tenth business group in Spain, and Libera Terra, a consortia of social cooperatives in Italy, are shared in this article.  Read more

The cooperative movement network’s advisory services

The cooperative movement has a lengthy tradition of creating innovative solutions based on the sixth cooperative principle: cooperation between cooperatives. One of the most important examples of this is the creation and development of national and regional institutions which support and promote the development of cooperatives through the provision of advisory services. Read more

Cross-border intercooperation: sharing experiences to save jobs

Against this backdrop, the Karmann Ghia Brasil factory, working in the automobile sector, was taken over by workers on 13 May after the company abandoned the factory. The worker cooperative movement has rallied together to look at alternative futures for the workers. Read more

Cooperative financial instruments need strong matching combinations with financial actors 

The various cooperative financial organizations present a series of experiences which have a substantial level of capitalization, a high repayment rate and a high level of cost-efficiency, in particular regarding the investment needed for each job created or saved. Read more

Sectorial networks in Argentina: born from solidarity and united towards common challenges

In Argentina worker cooperatives have breathed new life into several sectorial networks such as Red Gráfica, a network established in 2006 bringing together over 30 cooperative graphics companies and Red Textil, a network set up in 2013, bringing together 72 worker cooperatives in Argentina with an emphasis on social textiles. Read more

Intercooperation among tech cooperatives: from New Zealand to the UK

Cooperatives from the digital sector are joining together in the UK around the Megazord project, a coalition of tech-focused cooperatives that pool their resources to achieve their shared aims: “making the world better and fairer with technology”. The collective is taking inspiration from New Zealand-based Enspiral. Read more

Social cooperatives create the first Italian network of social agriculture

The first Italian social agriculture network, "AgriCo.Re – Agricoltura e Cooperazione in rete" is being established one year after the approval of the Italian law on social agriculture. It will gather together social cooperatives from all around Italy promoting work inclusion of disadvantaged people and welfare, assistance, social services and education. Read more

“Cooperatives’s main challenge is intercooperation”

In an interview CICOPA President Manuel Mariscal analyses the importance of “thinking and acting from a perspective of intercooperation. It is cooperativism’s main challenge. It is something that is lacking among cooperatives and is a challenge for cooperativism as a whole”. Read more

european news section

Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship campaign : fundraising call to boost the creation of coops by young people

In January 2017, worker, social and producers’ cooperatives will launch a campaign to continue raising awareness about how young people can meet their employment needs and aspirations while contributing to a better society through cooperatives. 41% of the funds to make this happen have already been collected but there is still a long way... Read more

Cooperatives included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural assets

UNESCO has added cooperatives to the list of intangible cultural assets. Cooperatives are among the sixteen new entries added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The list describes cooperative as entities that “allow for community building through shared interests and values creating innovative solutions to societal problems, from generating employment and assisting seniors to urban revitalisation and renewable energy projects”. Read more

Great success of the SCIS2016: 4 days of international exchanges on social cooperatives

30 Cooperative managers from Italy, Japan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovenia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Turkey actively attended the Social Cooperatives International School held from 20 to 23 October in Naples (Italy). Read more

Cooperatives in industry and services: an entrepreneurial and innovative attitude to serve all of society

The third International Summit of Cooperatives, which brought together 2,950 participants from 116 countries, this year focused on cooperatives’ “power to act”. Cooperatives in industry and services participated actively in the Summit and CICOPA co-organised two sectoral workshops. Read more

european news section
This section has been built with CECOP – CICOPA Europe

EU Member States recognise the contribution of the Social Economy to sustainable job creation and social innovations

Ten EU Member States have signed the Bratislava Declaration, calling for an increased recognition of the importance of the Social Economy. Presented on 1 December at the International Conference on Social Economy in Bratislava, the declaration also calls for the enhancement of legislative and financial tools for creating a suitable environment and commends the Social Economy for its contribution to sustainable job creation and social innovations. Read more

The European Parliament recognises the job creation potential of small and medium cooperatives in industry and services

The European Parliament has approved the report entitled "How best to harness the job creation potential of SMEs?", which is aimed at supporting SMEs in their efforts to combat the unemployment rate. The text highlights the fact that cooperatives in industry and services have shown better resilience since the 2008 crisis than other enterprises in the same sectors. Read more

CECOP welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative

The European Commission has recently launched the Communication “Europe’s next leaders: the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative”. CECOP has welcomed it, in particular its emphasis on scale-ups and not only on start-ups, since cooperatives in industry and services show that the jobs created and maintained by scale-ups are both higher in number and more sustainable than those created by start-ups.  Read more

Improvements should be made to European funding systems supporting cooperatives in their efforts to create and save enterprises and jobs

The “Development of cooperatives: financial instruments for investing” workshop, which was jointly organised on 23 November by CECOP together with the European Economic and Social Committee, analysed the current funding systems supporting cooperatives in European countries and shared the experiences of cooperative investment institutions from Italy, France, Spain and Belgium. Read more

European Commission proposal for a new Directive on preventive restructuring measures

CECOP welcomes the publication, by the European Commission, of the proposal for a new Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to improve the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and second chance procedures. National and local cooperative organizations help dozens of businesses undergo restructuring through business transfers to the employees under the cooperative form every year. Read more

South America news section
This section has been built with CICOPA Mercosur

‘Changarines’: transform the present, safeguard the future

A cooperative made up of ‘changarines’, the casual labourers in charge of shifting crates in and out of Cordoba’s fruit and vegetable market in Argentina, has established itself as the strongest business in the grocery market. They have set up their own school,  build their own carts and have a support fund in place for colleagues who become ill. Read more

Worker Cooperatives of the Americas meet in Montevideo

The IV Cooperative Summit of the Americas was held from 14 to 18 November. The event took place over five days, with over 30 meetings, workshops, forums, lectures, and work groups, under the slogan ‘Cooperatives: Partnerships for Sustainable Development’. On 16 November, the III CICOPA Americas Regional Assembly was held, with a lecture entitled “Self-Managed Work Frees People and Societies” attended by representatives from various worker cooperatives in the region, as well as Manuel Mariscal, President of CICOPA. Read more

Argentina’s cooperative movement looks into expanding the social cooperative model

In Argentina many worker cooperatives are dedicated to the care, support and reintegration of people with disabilities, addiction and psychiatric problems, as well as people who are faced with legal issues. Expanding the social cooperative model to providing care services for children and the elderly is one of the objectives being explored through exchanges in various academic circles in Argentina. Read more

Coopetín is born: Colombia’s first social cooperative

The cooperative is made up of 20 people who used to live on the streets. It will provide artistic, environmental and maintenance services, with support from solidarity-based unions. Although social cooperatives have yet to have been introduced into legislation by the National Government, this cooperative has been set up with support from CICOPA members in Colombia, Ascoop and Confecoop. Read more

North America news section

50 by 50: an initiative to make worker cooperatives major part of the U.S. economy

What if the number of employee owners in the U.S grew to 50 million by 2050? What kind of impact could that have on individual lives, local communities and the national economy? One project aims to find out. 50 by 50 is an initiative designed to make worker ownership,  mainly through worker cooperatives, a "major part of the U.S. economy.” Read more

Africa news section

Challenges for the creation of worker cooperatives by young people in Nigeria

Nigerian cooperators analyse how the benefits of entrepreneurship will be multiplied by helping young people to create worker cooperatives: "the cooperative organizational structure teaches self-governance skills and creates stakeholders in local communities..." Read more 

Asia news section

Industrial and service cooperatives in the Asia-Pacific region: challenges for their development

Although the concept of industrial and service cooperatives has yet to be fully developed in Asia, there are already many of them working in the region. In order to examine this worldwide reality and to gain a greater understanding of those that already exist in the region, CICOPA organized a workshop, together with ICA Asia-Pacific, in the framework of the 12th Regional Assembly of ICA-Asia Pacific, held in New Delhi (India). Read more

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