ICETT explores cooperative benefits to members and society

19 Dec 2023

The International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank (ICETT) held its 14th Plenary Meeting on 28–29 November, to explore cooperatives’ benefits to members and the communities they operate in. Cooperative leaders representing ICETT members from nine countries met in Brussels for an event hosted by to discuss this topic following its selection as the main thematic area for ICETT’s 2023-2024 working cycle.

ICETT was created in 2018 to foster cooperation among large cooperatives and cooperative groups and to create a platform for peer-to-peer learning on how to leverage their cooperative identity and boost their entrepreneurial performance.

Through this work, ICETT aims to provide a space for debate and exchange, promote business cooperation, leverage cooperative entrepreneurship, and inspire youth cooperative entrepreneurship.

The two-day event included a mixture of plenary sessions, roundtable discussions and networking opportunities, aiming to analyse the topic of cooperative benefits through concrete examples, as well as to generate recommendations that ICA members and cooperatives around the world can use to evaluate and enhance their impact. 

The meeting looked at the role of ICETT in advising the cooperative movement on how to leverage their cooperative benefits as a value proposition as a competitive advantage over conventional businesses, as well as how to communicate and market the cooperative difference and benefits in a way that resonates with members. ICETT chair Hans Groeneveld gave a keynote presentation on cooperatives’ benefits and how the cooperative difference can be leveraged to create a competitive advantage.

They also touched on a range of topics, including the recent announcement that 2025 is to be the International Year of Cooperatives and the ICA Consultation on the Cooperative Identity. In one of the sessions, participants explored how to seize new business opportunities through innovation, new sustainable solutions, and digital transformation.

ICETT aims to share knowledge with the ICA members and the cooperative movement at large. In 2024 it will be publishing a report on the benefits of the cooperative business model, which will feature an analysis of its members’ best practices.



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