You are currently viewing You are not alone: Cooperation as a key value for a successful youth entrepreneurship

You are not alone: Cooperation as a key value for a successful youth entrepreneurship

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Article by Anthropolis

One of the biggest fears of the young entrepreneurs that they would left alone with their ideas, they don’t find any practical or moral support, they have to struggle with all the steps without any further or outsider help.

According to several research, one of the key elements for the success of the social entrepreneurship if they are working closely with communities to find local solutions to local problems. The local context is a critical factor in the effectiveness of a new venture and in the replicability of innovation in different locations or communities. The success of social entrepreneurs is connected to their intimate knowledge of the local context, including social needs, norms, and networks.

Another important research finding relates to the importance of community formation among social entrepreneurs to promote peer-to-peer learning and support. Scholars of social entrepreneurship point out that “collaborative arrangements and partnerships are increasingly perceived as the lifeblood of social entrepreneurship”. For young social entrepreneurs, collaboration can provide learning opportunities, a mechanism for mutual assistance, and critical support for purpose-driven enterprises. Collaboration with same-sector or cross-sector partners creates a special synergy and can be a powerful enabling factor for young social entrepreneurs. It is argued that the collective movement may constitute the most advantageous model for collaborative youth social entrepreneurship.

Collaboration offers several advantages for young social entrepreneurs, but other forms of interaction can be equally beneficial.  Young social entrepreneurs, like their older counterparts, are encouraged to build strong social networks that can provide conceptual and moral support at all stages of enterprise development, facilitate the broad dissemination of information within and between groups, and support the exchange of ideas, leads and business opportunities. Social capital allows young entrepreneurs to explore opportunities ranging from business advice and moral support to partnerships that lead to joint activities based on common interests and complementary social missions.

The value of mentorship is also having a key role for the successful collaboration. This type of relationship is often referred to as an intergenerational partnership or adult-youth alliance, but the dynamics of this relationship are not always well defined. Role models of any age can influence the uptake of entrepreneurship among young people.

Community development for young people helps gain experience (including entrepreneurial experience) and engage in productive activities can have significant long-term benefits for both youth and the societies in which they live. Empowering young people and reinforcing their belief in their own capabilities can inspire them to set up their own social enterprises and to engage in continued or additional entrepreneurial activity well into the future. Social entrepreneurship can offer young people job opportunities and targeted services and can empower them to be economically and socially active — all of which can have a profound impact on their communities.


What is a  cooperative?

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons, united voluntarily to meet their common economic social and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Cooperatives are guided by a set of ethical values which include honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Useful links

International Co-operative Alliance Youth Network:

Young European Cooperators Network (YECN)

Global Study On Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship
Youth Coop


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