01 Mar '15

From the drawing board
to reality

door Gerard Hautekeur
A number of cooperatives from the region have come under the spotlight in previous issues. An increasing number of people are keen to invest in cooperative entities, where the public good is the prime concern rather than profits.

It should be stressed, however, that a huge amount of effort is required to launch such a business. 'Before creating a cooperative society you first have to decide on the product or service you are eager to market. Is it innovative? Can it deliver better social or environmental value results? Is there a market opening? You have to be able to provide a clear answer to the following questions: What is my goal? What are my capabilities? Is there a demand for my product or service? Only then should the focus be turned to the legal structure and funding the project', says Peter Baldwin of Febecoop, an accredited consultancy firm for the social and cooperative economy. (RK, maa 2015)

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