18 Mar 2019
The ICA-EU Partnership for international cooperative development (#coops4dev?) launches the new Global Cooperative Entrepreneurs programme (GCE), inspired by the success of Cooperatives Europe’s CoopStarter 2.0 Erasmus+ funded project. The initiative aims to support the creation of mentorship programmes to stimulate youth cooperative entrepreneurship worldwide.
The programme relies on strong partnerships between cooperative associations and youth organisations from all ICA regions. Whereas cooperatives are particularly recognised as a powerful driver of economic integration and social inclusion as well as a lever for empowering young people to experiment and innovate with new models to address different challenges facing today’s generation (e.g. climate change, migration, automation and transformation of work); youth organisations represent key players in youth empowerment, especially through their ability to provide a voice for younger generations, and enable young people to become active citizens. This collaboration between cooperatives and youth organisations will contribute to overcome challenges and become positive catalysts of support for youth cooperative entrepreneurs.
The GCE launched its first activity between the 18 and 21 March in Manchester (UK): a training of mentors from both ICA’s members and youth organisations. Hosted by the Co-operative College, the training set an active global community of GCE mentors who will work together to support youth entrepreneurs interested in setting up cooperatives and to develop resources and material relevant to entrepreneurship and international cooperative development. It also fostered new partnerships between cooperative associations and youth organizations to collaborate and find innovative ways of working together to stimulate youth entrepreneurship.