Cooperative enterprises in industry and services prove their strong resilience to the crisis

CICOPA100x100_0Cooperative enterprises in industry and services prove their strong resilience to the crisis

Since October 2008, the financial crisis has been affecting the economy and the financial system at the world level. As a response to the concerns regarding this situation and the serious challenges for employment, enterprise sustainability and social cohesion, CICOPA initiated a consultation process amongst its members in 2009, updated in 2010, in order to gain a better idea of the effects of the crisis on the affiliated enterprises. Most CICOPA members have participated in this consultation namely 27 organisations from 21 countries.

According to the results of this study, cooperative enterprises in industry and services show better results in facing the crisis than other types of business in the same sectors. This is possible thanks to the intrinsic characteristics of cooperatives and notably what is called “the cooperative innovation”.

The cooperative system promotes sustainable employment in sustainable enterprises, and thence local development and social cohesion. Indeed, cooperatives are owned and controlled by owners-stakeholders from the community who are aimed to satisfy their common economic, social, cultural and/or environmental needs and aspirations. Worker and social cooperatives – and other types of employee-owned enterprises are owned and controlled by the workers of the enterprise. The resilience of these enterprises and of their workplaces to the present crisis, which has been surveyed here, is a good indicator of their capacity to sustain their economic activities and the employment.

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CICOPA is the International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers’ Cooperatives affiliating 42 national member organisations in 31 countries throughout the world.