Work Together (Archive)

Coopetín is born: Colombia’s first social cooperative

4 November 2016

The cooperative is made up of 20 people who used to live on the streets. It will provide artistic, environmental, and maintenance services, with support from solidarity-based unions. Although social cooperatives have yet to have been introduced into legislation by the National Government, this cooperative has been set up with support from CICOPA members in Colombia, Ascoop and Confecoop, to provide an alternative for its members struggling with social reintegration.

Carlos Mario Zuluaga, Executive Director of Ascoop, was touched by the creation of Coopetín, saying “we welcome them as fellow cooperativists” and emphasised that this social cooperative, in common with all cooperatives “seeks to put capital at the services of man, unlike other businesses which put man at the services of capital”.

Carlos Acero, President of Confecoop, stressed how this is a model example of the social integration of socially marginalised groups, amongst them people who live on the streets. Social integration is the ultimate aim of social cooperatives which is why he asked the National Government to recognise this type of cooperative without delay. He went on to stress how confidence is key to the success of Coopetín. “We have put the hope of many Colombians and people from society’s marginalised groups into this cooperative”, he said.

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