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Cooperatives of the Americas reaffirms their commitment to strengthen young cooperators in the region

22 October 2019

Has been signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the cooperative youth in the region.

In the framework of the 18th National Congress of Cooperatives in Colombia, during the Forum „Youth and Cooperatives in the twenty-first century“ the President of Cooperatives of the Americas, Graciela Fernandez and the Director of Impact Hub, Paula Gutiérrez, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between both organizations to strengthen the cooperative youth in the region.

The forum tackled current concerns and challenges of the new generations, such as the lack of employment and opportunities, unrealistic demand of work experience, precarious working conditions and contracts without social benefits or the difficulty to start sustainable enterprises, among others.

The signature of the MoU was witnessed by its beneficiaries in Colombia, Maria Eugenia Perez, Director of ASCOOP, Carlos Acero, Director of CONFECOOP and Jorge Leal, Secretary of CONFECOOP. It will provide a framework of cooperation and will facilitate the collaboration regarding entrepreneurship ecosystems, within the areas of innovation and leadership, cooperativism and social economy. This is another example of the collaboration between cooperatives and other organizations to overcome the current challenges by turning into catalysts for young cooperative entrepreneurs.

Luisa Fernanda Gallo, project manager of the Americas of the project #coops4dev🌍, presented during the Youth Forum the “Global Cooperative Entrepreneurs – GCE” programme, which is part of the framework partnership agreement between the International Cooperative Alliance and the European Commission “Cooperatives in development: People-centred Businesses in Action”. GCE is a strategy of the cooperative movement to promote the cooperative model as the first choice for new emerging entrepreneurs. The backbone of the programme is the consolidation of strategic alliances between cooperative organizations and experts organizations in entrepreneurship outside the sector.

GCE has been promoted by the Regional Youth Committee of Cooperatives of the Americas, as the programme is expected to foster an international community of mentors and cooperative ambassadors to leverage entrepreneurship ecosystems of easy application in a variety of contexts. At the moment the programme is implemented in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Poland, Sweden and in the Americas in the countries Colombia and El Salvador. The cooperative entities in Colombia to implement the programme are ASCOOP and CONFECOOP together with the strategic partner Impact Hub Bogotá.

After this presentation, Paula Gutiérrez, Director of Impact Hub reaffirmed the importance of this strategic alliance between the Colombian cooperative sector and Impact Hub Bogotá, an innovation lab that contributes enormously to the sustainable development and which is also part of an international community with more then 15.000 members and 100 cities around the globe.

This publication has been prepared with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Cooperativa de las Américas, and in no case should it be considered as reflecting the views of the European Union.

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