ECOOPE Co-operative Entrepreneurship project rounded up with final event

Santander, June 26 2018. –  The ECOOPE Co-operative Entrepreneurship Experience project was wrapped up with a final dissemination event in Santander (Spain) last June 21 and 22.

The aim of the two-day conference, entitled: «Co-operative Entrepreneurship: a tool for a sustainable, viable future» was to present the documents and tools generated during the last year of work, as well as spreading the benefits of the co-operative business model through a series of experts in its research and teaching.

Cynthia Giagnocavo (ICA Research Board), María Ubarretxena (Mayor of Arrasate/Mondragón, home to the Mondragón Cooperative Group), Laura Ferri (IES Massamagrell) and Elena Badeanschi (Fed. Cooperazione Trentina), moderated by Sarah Alldred from Co-operative College UK, participated in the round table on the first day:  The Spanish province of Almería, which was one of the poorest places in Europe in the 1960s, was set as just one powerful example of resiliency and transformation brought about by cooperatives.

Participants then delved into the different educational practices they carry out at their ecosystems and stressed the importance of making students and people in general aware about cooperative entrepreneurship, which led to a discussion on whether to introduce cooperative entrepreneurship education as part of the mainstream curricula or to change the way of teaching, through active methodologies, cooperation and others, as a more natural way of transmitting those values.

On the second day, the Good Practice expert panel (Universidad de JaénGoldsmiths College-University of London and Schülergenossenschaften from Germany), moderated by EURICSE, provided the audience with a detailed explanation on their educational training programmes, both in Secondary and Higher Education, and received the ECOOPE Awards for being quality practices in the teaching of co-operative entrepreneurship in Europe.

The event also included Andrea Dávila (Cooperative Unit at ILO), who spoke about co-ops providing more estable, competitive and decent work, and a lean start-up workshop/hackathon, who gave attendants a set of tools to assess and solve complex problems, in this case within the context of a co-operative challenge.

As part of the ECOOPE consortium, Finnish LUT (Lappeenranta University of Technology) introduced their Methodology Evaluation Tool, PEEP Portugal talked about their Good Practice Guide of Co-operative Entrepreneurship training programmes in Europe, Valnalón and PEEP gave their insights on the pilot training programme for Secondary Education students and CISE and Universidade do Porto finalised the two days of presentations showing the results of the pilot training programme in Higher Education.

All the project documents and resources can be found on: Documents, and the event presentations are already available at: Event Presentations

You can also access the event’s photos here:

Co-operative Entrepreneurship



The ECOOPE Project, co-financed by the European Union, has a budget of over €300,000 and was launched in May 2017 to improve European Secondary and Higher Education students’ employability by providing them with the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills for them to be able to create cooperatives or, alternatively, incorporate their initiatives in already-existing co-ops.

Together with the University of CantabriaCISE (Santander International Entrepreneurship Centre) and Valnalón in Spain, the following European institutions are part of the consortium: LUT Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland), EURICSE (Italy), Porto University and PEEP (Portugal), and Co-operative College UK (United Kingdom).

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