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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Solidarity economy saving accounts are booming in France

  • Over a million people in France regularly invest in solidarity economy mutual funds, up from 50,000 only a decade ago. These funds invest 5-10% in solidarity economic enterprises, with cooperatives explicitly included as one of the main types of enterprises eligible for investment. The other types also resemble cooperatives in some key ways such as having similar distribution of surplus.
 
  • The funds have grown eight fold in the last 10 years. The funds had £15.6 billion in assets and had helped the creation of over 1650 new solidarity enterprises in 2019. All companies in France with over 50 employees must offer all employees an option to switch to a solidarity economy savings account. 8-10% of employees whose workplace offers solidarity savings accounts have already joined one.
 
  • Examples of investments include RailCoop, the first cooperative rail company in France and Cameroon Cocoa Cooperative, a 2000-member farmer cooperative in Cameroon. Because the Solidarity Funds invest in cooperatives around the world, they present a great opportunity for global online cooperatives and could be an ideal funder for new accelerators and incubators for cooperative start-ups in emerging areas of the economy.

Read the rest at the Coop Exchange newsletter

 

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