The objective of Cooperactivas is to create a network of mutual aid that serves as support for existing social entities and as a starting point for new ones.
Promoted by the cooperative movement in León (Castile and León) through the Leonese Union of cooperatives, ULECOOP, COOPERACTIVAS is a project funded in 2017 by the association with the same name, whose aim is to create a point of contact and a forum for active participation, in which people can make themselves known and can contact each other for mutual benefit; entrepreneurs, companies, professionals, associations and public bodies that cooperate actively to incubate, connect, promote and consolidate economic activities within the principles and values of the social economy and territorial development.
The idea of creating COOPERACTIVAS arises in a context of negative demographic evolution, loss of productive potential, lack of employment opportunities for its inhabitants, and where there is no legal recognition of social enterprises, nor specific support instruments.
Cooperactivas goes beyond providing contacts to its members by also:
Assessing social enterprises ideas, business plans and communication plans; Providing guidance, advice and technical assistance in Social Economy projects, both for start-up and consolidation; Organizing knowledge sharing summits; Providing free access to UNED courses (National University of online learning);Helping to establish a client base; Increasing visibility of social enterprises and their services through their presence on the web www.cooperactivas.com; Supporting the search for funding in: Ethical banking; Parabank loans, etc.
The resources of Cooperactivas are made up of annual fees of the persons/companies/ public administrations members; voluntary contributions; and public and private subsidies.
The network is managed by a board of 5 people on a voluntary basis.
Evidence of success
With more than 28 enterprises, projects and public administrations registered, including Ulecoop - Union of cooperactives in Castile and León and an association of 31 small villages, the network has enabled positive synergies across various entities and sectors through knowledge sharing, participation in each other’s events, opportunities to increase the client base and from using each other´s services.
Potential for learning or transfer
In the specific context of Castile and León and in the current global context, seeking to manufacture, produce, provide services in a responsible manner or with the sustainable and social distinction and under a collaborative approach as is the case of Cooperactivas, leads to public authorities, companies, and society in general, enter into another dynamic that leads to innovation in the product or service, new market opportunities and changes in consumption and lifestyles.
It is necessary to observe how a new and unknown scenario is being built at the same time, which provides a significant dose of uncertainty, but also of opportunities, which requires organizations with this type of approach. Initiatives such as Cooperactivas, where active participation is the basis, favors and develops responsibility and collective solidarity, allows a better knowledge of reality, contributes to social and civic education of citizens and strengthens social organizations.
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