Coopedia: An open-source knowledge base to drive cooperative entrepreneurship forward

21 Apr 2021

Coopedia Knowledge Base is an innovative and collaborative search engine collecting a wide range of learning resources in different languages on cooperative entrepreneurship.

Having been launched on the 8 September 2020 by Cooperatives Europe, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and its regional offices start now a global campaign to expand the use of Coopedia Knowledge Base and invite interested organisations to install their own version of this innovative tool in their online platforms.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new ways of working across the world and Coopedia is a great initiative in this process as it brings digital innovation to knowledge sharing - enabling more organisations and actors to get involved and stimulate cooperative entrepreneurship.

Coopedia has been developed by Cooperatives Europe under the framework of the ICA-EU Partnership on international development (also known as #coops4dev). The idea emerged via the CoopStarter 2.0 project led by Cooperatives Europe and was implemented and upscaled via the Global Cooperative Entrepreneurs (GCE) programme, an activity of #coops4dev.

Learning to start up a cooperative in six steps

Coopedia is designed to support entrepreneurs in creating a cooperative business. Capitalising on the cooperative principle 5 (Education, training and information), it provides learning material to guide the cooperative “startupper” through six steps to launch their business project:

  1. Identifying needs
  2. Motivating and including members
  3. Generating business ideas
  4. Planning the business
  5. Contact a business support structure
  6. Setting up the structure

Building a global community around cooperative entrepreneurship

As a collaborative tool, Coopedia Knowledge Base lays the ground for a better cooperation among actors and organisations aiming to transform the economy through the cooperative model. The Knowledge Base grows with the contributions of cooperative mentors and experts around the globe, who index resources about cooperative entrepreneurship such as tools, guides, research publications, documentary videos and online training sessions. Coopedia has two types of users: Contributors and Searchers.

By registering to Coopedia as a Contributor, the user can share relevant resources and peer review resources posted by other Contributors in the global community.

These indexed resources are accessible to Searchers, who can search for resources. Searchers can be entrepreneurs, students or any person wishing to learn more about the entrepreneurial character of cooperatives.

Collective participation is also behind the tool’s technology. Being an open-source software, Coopedia is a transparent tool and enhances the collective power of its federated network. The software is based on Startin’blox technology which is a free, modular and friendly-user tool to build descentralised applications.

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Get Coopedia installed on your website and benefit from the power of knowledge!

Any organisation interested in cooperative entrepreneurship can join the federated network by installing Coopedia Knowledge Base on its website. The Coopedia installations can connect to the rest of installations in a federated network - creating a decentralised knowledge-sharing ecosystem. Through Coopedia, organisations will have the opportunity to usher in new partnerships with key actors like cooperative organisations, universities, training centres, local authorities and civil society organisations with an interest in the cooperative model.

The Coopedia community is growing! Install Coopedia on your website and be part of the federated network that cooperates to transform the economy!

If you are interested in learning more or integrating Coopedia on your online platform, please contact h.persson(at)coopseurope.coop.

Find more information about Coopedia here and follow our global social media campaign (#Coopedia).

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The ICA-EU Partnership on international development (also known as #coops4dev) was signed in 2016 between the International Cooperative Alliance and the European Commission to strengthen the cooperative movement as key actor in international development.
Read more about #coops4dev on our website.

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Author:
#coops4dev