The National Project


Coopstartup is an experimental project launched by Coopfond-Legacoop* in May 2013. It aims at setting up cooperative startups and comes from the need to promote entrepreneurship among young people encouraging the adoption of the cooperative model and affirming the presence of cooperatives in ‘new markets’. It specifically focuses on innovation (technological, organizational and social innovation) to foster a “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.

Since its launch, it has developed using different tools:

  • An heterogeneous working group, “open” and growing as time goes by (the group gathers, the young and not so young, coming from Legacoop, public institutions and the startup world);
  • A growing network of qualified partners (universities, research centres, business angels, business incubators and startup accelerators)
  • Web and social networks to spread information, share results and collect suggestions for improvements;
  • Project management support to Legacoop’s national, regional and sector structures to organise local programs and calls;
  • Local calls to trial selection processes and support tools for business ideas promoted by groups of potential cooperators (at least 3 people per group) from pre startup to post startup;
  • A practical guide to starting up a cooperative;
  • A free online training course on business modelling, cooperation and team working;
  • Non-repayable loans for the startups coming from local programs.

* Coopfond is the company that manages the fund set up by the resources of Legacoop members to create new cooperatives and to develop and strengthen existing ones (according to the Italian law 59/1992) . The resources of the fund come mainly from 3% of the annual profits of Legacoop cooperatives.

Legacoop – Lega Nazionale delle Cooperative e Mutue (National League of Cooperatives and Mutuals) is an Italian association of cooperatives established in 1886 to represent its members and advance the cooperative enterprise model. It is organized in national, regional and sector structures which represent and safeguard member cooperatives, defend the cooperative identity, promote cooperation and offer assistance to its members.

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