New website for French start-up co-ops

The portal provides guidance for entrepreneurs thinking of setting up a co-operative

More than 65% of new co-operatives in France are start-up businesses – and to cater for them, a website has been launched featuring case studies and best practices.

French federation of worker and multistakeholder co-ops CG Scop (Les Scop) has created the portal in response to the growing interest in co-operative businesses, particularly among young people who are looking for alternative models.

According to CG Scop, which represents 3,177 worker co-ops, the model meets young people’s hopes for meaningful work and businesses with a social purpose.

The platform provides guidance for entrepreneurs thinking of setting up a co-operative. It includes information on how to set up a worker co-operative and the various legal structures available to do so. The website lists co-operative development organisations that can offer advice to entrepreneurs and the institutions that can provide financial support to start-up co-ops.

Entrepreneurs can also draw inspiration from 45 co-op start-ups, such tech co-op Chauffe-souris, which translates as Heated Mouse. Focusing on all things digital, such as motion design, digital learning and brand creation, the co-op is run by five friends.

Similarly, multi-stakeholder co-op 1D Lab aims to take on giants Deezer and Spotify by providing a musical streaming service in which users and artists can have a say. Based in Saint-Étienne, the co-op works to promote independent artists who often get ignored by the big streaming platforms.

Start-Scop guides entrepreneurs through the different stages of setting up a business and the support available during each of these. It also debunks some of the myths around co-op enterprises such as the misconception that the co-operative model is suitable only for enterprises in difficulty or that it is more difficult to obtain finance as a start-up co-op.

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