“Two heads are better than one.” This saying applies to many things, including business cooperatives. Pooling resources, groups of people achieve better results than each does alone. For example, a farmer may not be able to afford the newest tools; sharing those tools with others gives the farmer access to the tools at a lower cost. With those savings, the farmer can use the new technology to increase production.
In the weeks leading up to the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, attention is on Africa, with Kenya co-hosting this year’s summit. Cooperatives enhance communities’ well-being and promote job creation all across the continent.
Two examples of African cooperatives:
Twelve women in Tanzania in the Wanawake Kwanza (Women First) growers association have grown enough vegetables on a 0.4-hectare plot to save up $500 in two months. Their success led the village to grant them another 0.6 hectares. Other women in the village have noticed their success and started their own smaller groups.
In Somaliland, tailoring is a male-driven industry, but these women saw an opportunity to create their own designs and formed a tailoring cooperative. They submitted a proposal, and with the help of a U.S. grant, their dream became a reality.
These and other types of entrepreneurial cooperatives exist all over the world. If you want to join or start your own cooperative, follow #GES2015Kenya.