A joint initiative between a UK and US co-operative will see a mobile phone app launch in June.
Co-operatives UK is leading a project with the National Cooperative Business Association in the US that will see the launch of 'Co-operate', an app for iPhone, iPad and Android, to help people find their local co-operative.
Whether users need food or phones, electricity or banking, users can search through categories for nearby outlets or use their phone’s map technology to be taken there. While the application will list all co-operatives, Co-operatives UK is allowing its members to create premium listings, which will allow organisations to expand their profile with a detailed description and logo.
In the UK, the app will be launched at 12 noon on June 19th and the US version of the app is expected to launch on the same day. Co-operators are being encouraged to get their 'thumbs at the ready' to download the app on the same day to help it climb up the iOS/Android download charts.
Co-operate is launched with the International Year of Co-operatives in mind, which aims to make the sector more visible. With smartphones accounting for around half of all mobile phones, the app offers the opportunity to put co-operatives and mutuals into the hands of people across in their respective countries.
Co-operatives UK is also making the source code available to other co-operative organisations around the world, who want to launch a similar app in their country.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, told the News: “Amid all the bad news, there is a grassroots ethical economy growing up, with co-operative and mutual businesses in every postcode area across the UK. One billion people around the world are members of co-operatives.
“Co-operate will make it easier for even more people to find these businesses. By downloading Co-operate, even more people can be part of the good news. It is a tool for a better world.”
Co-operate is developed by Co-operatives UK, which will be making the app available for use by the wider international co-operative movement. The National Co-operative Business Association in the United States has committed to launch the US version of the application on the same day. There will be a similar function available online for those without a smartphone.
• To find out more about the app visit: www.uk.coop/co-operate