2011 International Day of Cooperatives


“Youth, the future of cooperative enterprise”
“Les jeunes, l’avenir de l’entreprise coopérative”
“La juventud, el futuro de la empresa cooperativa”


The theme highlighted how the cooperative model of enterprise can successfully empower youth. It linked to the celebration of the United Nations International Year of Youth, which encourages dialogue and understanding across generations and promotes the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and freedoms, and solidarity.

The International Day of Cooperatives addresses the need for all cooperative stakeholders to promote the participation of young people in the cooperative movement. Too often young people are not aware of the cooperative model of enterprise; they do not learn about the model in school as cooperatives do not often figure into school curricula. Additionally, young people may not realize that the products and services that they use are provided by cooperatives.

Yet, cooperatives provide young people opportunities that address their practical and strategic needs. They offer them a model of enterprise to create their own businesses. They offer the opportunity to be employed by enterprises that address young people’s concerns for more democratic, responsible, and ethical business operations. They allow young people to gain professional employment experience to further their education, build their capacities, and participate in decision-making.

Messages from members

Information on youth and cooperatives

General information:

Country level information: