ICA launches project to help young people start their own co-ops

The scheme, led by the ICA’s Youth Network, is looking to support at least eight projects

The Youth Network of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has launched a project to encourage young people to set up co-operative enterprises.

The Replication Project, which will have a global reach, is designed to improve understanding of existing co-op youth projects, to support the replication of existing models, and to create new ones.

“Youth are the future,” said the ICA, “but, as we all stated in the Global Youth Forum in Malaysia, we are also the present, and the action starts now.”

Related: Young co-operators welcomed to ICA Global Youth Forum

The scheme will be led and and managed by the Youth Network’s executive committee, and kicks off this month with a call for project proposals.

It is also recruiting mentors from the ICA network this month, “ to help support the building of strong foundations and structures”. 

The Youth Network will choose at least eight projects (two per ICA region) and fund them with a maximum of €10,000 (£8,850) per project.

The deadline for project proposals is midnight Belgium time on 16 August, 2020. The winning projects will be selected on 15 September and matched with mentors on 30 September.

Related: ICA announces details of pre-Congress research events

The first half of funds will be allocated on 1 October, and the first reports and evaluations of projects is due on 1 February 2021, when additional funds will be allocated.

The projects should finish work, with final reports completed, on 1 August 2021.