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Q&A: Marc Nöel ICA-EU Partnership on International Cooperative Development (Coops4Dev)

26 February 2021

The programme promotes the potential of co-op enterprises in development.

What were Coops4Dev’s main initiatives in 2020?

One of the highlights has been our collaboration with Aroundtheworld.coop, resulting in a truly amazing number of co-operative stories from across the globe, narrated and showcased by the co-operators themselves. The 13 short films underline the human face of co-operatives and are self-explanatory on how co-operators build, shape and dream a fairer and inclusive economy worldwide. You can get inspired by the video stories at: aroundtheworld.coop.

With no doubt the Global Youth Forum on Cooperative Entrepreneurship (GYF) was a milestone in our engagement on youth entrepreneurship. Set up as a summer school, 200 young entrepreneurs from over 50 countries had the opportunity to follow an intensive training week around all different aspects concerning co-operative entrepreneurship: from internal governance to establishing a business plan and from marketing to partnerships. 110 training sessions by 35 trainers based on peer-to-peer learning were at the core of the GYF, complemented by activities such as living library and co-operative visits. Thanks to its success and high demand for a follow up, we are planning an online version for 2021 with the co-operative youth networks. Stay tuned! gyf20.coop

Recently, we launched an open-source and collaborative search engine under the promising name of COOPEDIA. This new software has the ability to build on the global knowledge community. We want to make it a reference for entrepreneurs in need for co-operative tools, and for stakeholders willing to share resources to the benefit of the co-operative community across the globe – an exciting challenge we are looking forward to! You can find it here: coopedia.starter.coop/en/

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Together with the colleagues from regional and global ICA offices, members and national experts, important research work on the enabling environment for co-operatives is ongoing. Our interactive world map already features data on cooperatives and the national co-operative legislations in over 70 countries. Every month, new reports are added to the map, and we aim to hit the 100 countries mark by 2021! All national
reports are available on coops4dev.coop/en/world

We are very much looking forward to the publication of an important research on youth entrepreneurship, with numerous participants from within and outside the co-operative movement. Based on 420 questionnaires and empirical studies in 20 countries, the study aims at understanding and bridging further youth and the co-operative movement – analysing themes such as employment, education, inequalities and engagement.

Recently, we launched an open-source and collaborative search engine under the promising name of COOPEDIA. This new software has the ability to build on the global knowledge community. We want to make it a reference for entrepreneurs in need for co-operative tools, and for stakeholders willing to share resources to the benefit of the co-operative community across the globe – an exciting challenge we are looking forward to! You can find it here: coopedia.starter.coop/en/