Cooperators attend the Latin American Academy of Social Economy Entrepreneurship

18 Dec 2023

The Latin American Academy of Social Economy Entrepreneurship brought together cooperators and social economy practitioners to exchange knowledge and experience over two days.

Taking place on 16-17 November, the event was organised by the Social Economy School (Escuela de la Economia Social) in Osuna, a municipality in the province of Seville, Spain. Participants heard presentations from a range of speakers, including Gabriel Isola from CUDECOOP (Uruguay), Daniela Preisler from Colmenar Cooperative Consulting (USA) and Leire Luengo from the ICA. Representatives from Legacoop Romagna in Italy and Lieux Commun in France also shared best practices.

With this initiative, the school aimed to provide a space for cooperators and social economy actors to meet, exchange knowledge and experiences and discuss best practices and failures. Participants also had the opportunity to admire the beautiful 17th-century former abbey in which the school is based. The building was restored by Faecta, the Andalusian Federation of Worker Cooperatives, which also secured the local council’s permission to use it for the next 50 years.

The Social Economy School was set up 21 years ago and has trained over 20,000 practitioners from cooperatives and the wider social economy. It does so by placing a strong emphasis on social learning. Its team of trainers and educators run various courses but participants also get to live on its premises while they receive training. In this way, they learn from one another.

In addition to providing training for directors and professionals from cooperatives and the wider social economy, the school also supports entrepreneurs who want to set up co-ops via a six-month incubator programme, run campaigns to raise awareness of the social economy via a range of events, and advocates for the sector.

The school is run by the Andalusian School of Social Economy Foundation, whose trustees include representatives of the cooperative and social economy sectors.

Watch this video to find out more about the school!

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