The Entrepreneurial Cooperative Experience | ECOOPE project responds to the objective of raising awareness, interest and knowledge on the values of the co-operative business model and its potential to tackle European youth unemployment.


We promote the co-operative business model among young future entrepreneurs: our main goal is to improve the employability of European youth, especially in those countries with high rates of unemployment. The Entrepreneurial Cooperative Experience (ECOOPE) project is co-funded by the European Union and involves eight institutions from five different European countries: Santander International Entrepreneurship Centre (Centro Internacional Santander Emprendimiento, CISE) and the University of Cantabria, our leading partners, and Valnalón from Spain; Co-operative College from the United Kingdom; the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) from Italy; Laappenranta University of Technology (Finland); and the Policy Experimentation and Evaluation Platfform (PEEP) and the University of Porto, from Portugal.

All of our partners are experts in entrepreneurship or in the co-operative business model. Both have shown their efficiency and resilience during the economical crisis and that’s why the Entrepreneurial Cooperative Experience project stresses the need to put them together, because they represent the best way to cut European youth unemployment rates down.

What will the project mean for the European labour market?

A chance to «explore the opportunities that co-operatives might bring as an alternative form of employment». This is just a peek of what the ECOOPE team thinks that this project will mean for the European labour market.

Our goals

youth employment

Introduce co-operativism as a valid business model for young entrepreneurs throughout Europe, so we can help to improve European youth unemployment rates.

co-operative business model

Raise appreciation for co-operativism, a valid business model with proven effectiveness, to make it a primary option between young entrepreneurs around Europe.

What are we doing?


  • We are designing a Co-operative Training Evaluation Tool that will allow an assessment of co-operative entrepreneurial activities through its success, achievement and process indicator system in order to provide entrepreneurship training institutions with a tool to monitor and improve their programmes.
  • The ECOOPE team is identifying the European Good Practices on co-operative entrepreneurial programmes, courses, methodologies and tools. With this research, and subsequent dissemination we will try to raise awarenes on the value of this model of entrepreneurship among the European public.


  • As soon as the GP (good practices) are identified, we will design and implement two entrepreneurial co-operative Training Programme: one for secondary education institutions and the other intended for Higher Education entities.
  • The results and contents generated througout the project will all be accesible as open resources not only in our website, but in numerous educative and entrepreneurship platforms.
  • These results will be presented during an international event (the 1st Conference on Co-operative Entrepreneurship Education) in 2018.