People across the country have been asked to consider setting up co-operatives as part of a plan to recover businesses and the economy.
Minister Robert Troy and the Irish Co-Operative Society urged entrepreneurs, innovators and communities to consider the option as a new online guide on how to start a co-op was launched.
The guide features a description of some of the sectors in the economy that are ripe for the development of co-operatives, as well as a straightforward roadmap on how to approach setting up a co-operative business – including planning, commercial feasibility and membership enlistment.
Minister Troy said that he is fully aware of the continuing importance of the co-operative movement throughout Ireland, particularly to local and rural communities.
“This is particularly important in these current challenging times and I look forward to the co-operative movement playing its part in the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 situation,” he said.
James O’Donnell, Vice President of ICOS and Chairman of the ICOS Rural Business Committee said: “The establishment of co-operative businesses, where members work together to back and support a mutually owned enterprise, is a successful and proven approach particularly during times of market failure.
“Possibilities exist in digital services, e-commerce, renewable energy, tourism, housing, sports clubs, media ownership, restaurant services including delivery, social care provision including homecare and nursing home provision, and solutions for the increased number of remote workers who will require adequate facilities to work as effectively as if they were in the office.
“New businesses could set up as a co-operative or existing businesses could collaborate with a number of similar enterprises to create economies of scale, provide a wider range of services in a more reliable, efficient and cost effective manner and, as a result, retain customers and stay in business.