Business owners and employees looking to convert enterprises to co-operatives can now learn more about the process using a new website launched by Cooperatives Europe and CG Scop.
The platform, TransfertoCoops.eu, focuses on the benefits of converting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into worker owned co-ops, while providing information for all parties involved in a business transfer.
The website is part of the TransfertoCOOPS project co-financed by the European Commission and developed by 10 European partners led by CG Scop, the French confederation of worker co-operatives.
More than 450,000 SMEs are transferred each year in the EU, and the initiative was designed to improve the environment of converting enterprises into worker co-operatives as well as help people understand how the co-operative enterprise model works.
The English website was developed based on a pilot version previously launched in France. It features videos, tips on how to lead a successful business transfer and testimonies from employees, consultants and buyers.
A frequently asked questions section also addresses some of the most common misconceptions around the co-operative enterprise model.
The website also touches upon the important role played by chartered accountants in the process of converting the business, with advice on how to ensure a smooth transition.
Patricia Lexcellent, director of CG Scop, said: “Sharing the French experience of transferring economically sound businesses into worker-owned co-operatives with other EU countries is an exciting project which will hopefully contribute to extend such practices across Europe.”
Agnes Mathis, director of Cooperatives Europe, added: “Though co-operatives make up a large part of the EU economy, business transfers into co-operatives remain less known, despite the clear benefits.
“TransfertoCOOPS will encourage potential transferors to choose the co-operative model as the viable option for their businesses and ensure sustainable employment.”
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