Earlier this year ICMIF member and Belgian cooperative P&V Group organised a one day conference on cooperative entrepreneurship in collaboration with the Belgian socialist political parties Sp.a and PS. P&V took the United Nations’ International Year of Cooperatives (IYC 2012) as a prompt to organise the event which they hoped would be an opportunity to strengthen its efforts in promoting cooperative enterprises in Belgium.
At the Québec International Summit of Co-operatives in October 2012, a delegation from the P&V Group made contact with a number of international speakers there. These speakers agreed to come to Belgium to present the inspirational case stories they had shared at Québec at the P&V cooperative entrepreneurship conference in January 2013.
Speaking about the P&V conference, Hilde Vernaillen (CEO of the P&V Group) said: “The lack of education on cooperatives makes it difficult to attract top managers with a thorough knowledge of our business model. That’s why we plead for more attention to the cooperative model in education…Furthermore, Belgium lacks a judicial framework for cooperatives that could stimulate their growth. We hope the positive reactions to this conference are the start of new initiatives in these areas.”