ILO resources for capacity building and training on cooperatives and the wider social and solidarity economy (SSE) entities

The ILO provides capacity building and training services that enable cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy (SSE) enterprises to become more competitive and sustainable in the marketplace.

Matériel didactique | 7 mai 2018

SSE Awareness Raising Package by ILO, ITCILO and UNTFSSE

Publication date: 2023
Following the historic adoption of the resolution “Promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development” (A/RES/77/281) by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 April 2023, the UNTFSSE has launched an open, online, awareness-raising package. The tools will allow UN Member States and intergovernmental bodies, United Nations entities, regional governments and organizations, policymakers, academia and think tanks, development banks, civil society (NGOs, foundations, voluntary groups, etc.), the private sector and media to get acquainted with basic concepts and practices of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and its central role in advancing inclusive and sustainable development.

The modules were created by ITCILO and ILO with funding from the ILO Luxembourg government project. UNTFSSE members and observers provided rounds of feedback on the draft modules, which were then integrated. Module 1 covers key features and organizational forms around the world while Module 2 links SSE to each SDG goal. Both tools are available in Spanish and French.

The role of cooperatives in eliminating Child Labour

 Publication date: 2021

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The objective of the training package on “The role of cooperatives in eliminating Child Labour” is to raise awareness of management, staff and members of agricultural cooperatives about child labour so that they are able to decide on and implement a set of actions that will contribute to the prevention and elimination of child labour within the cooperative’s and members’ operations as well as in their communities. It uses a situated learning approach, where participants are actively involved in their learning experience and learning focuses on skills and competencies specific to their professional practices. The training package builds on previous materials on cooperatives and child labour as well as ILO’s practical experience. The training package contains: a Facilitator guide to train field trainers and a Facilitator Guide to train management, staff and members of agricultural cooperatives. A PowerPoint presentation to support training of trainers can be requested from

Generate your social enterprise idea in South Africa

Publication date: 2021
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This is a self-paced course for social entrepreneurs and people working with and in the South African social and solidarity economy. This course was developed from the Generate Your Business Idea initiative and complements the ILO’s Start Your Business for Social Entrepreneurs (SYBSE) programme. It aims to provide practical tips and tools for people working in the social and solidarity economy. The main goal is to provide general advice for leaders of co-operatives, social enterprises, non-profits and any other organisations that focus on delivering social and environmental outcomes.

Start.COOP – A participatory tool for launching a cooperative

Publication date: 2018 
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Start.COOP is a training tool for those interested in starting a cooperative in a participatory manner. It is one of the three training tools on cooperatives that is a part of Our.Coop package. Start.COOP is a low-cost, easy to use tool for those interested in starting and launching a cooperative in a participatory manner. It draws on technical content from existing materials in different ILO cooperative training tools. It also uses a peer-to-peer, activity-based learning methodology from the ILO’s Community-Based Enterprise Development (C-BED) programme. Start.Coop helps the participants identify the core members of their cooperative, define their business ideas, research the feasibility of this business idea, prepare their business plan and decide on the organizational set-up of their cooperative. The package contains: a training guide, a facilitator’s guide and two power point presentations that can be used for training of facilitators and direct beneficiaries. To date, the Start.COOP training has been implemented in Cambodia, Bolivia, Peru, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Mauritania, Comoros, the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan, Timor-Leste, Moldova, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire.

Think.COOP – An orientation on the cooperative business model

Publication date: 2018
- Check out the full material
- Check out the Think.Coop Online materials (NEW!)
Think.COOP has been developed by the ILO as a low-cost, easy to use training module for those interested in establishing or joining a cooperative. By drawing on technical content from existing materials from different ILO cooperative training tools and peer-to-peer, activity based learning methodology from the ILO’s Community-Based Enterprise Development (C-BED) programme, Think.COOP is a 6-hour module providing simple information on basics on the concept of cooperation, importance of relationships, and introduction to the cooperative principles and business model. To date, the Think.COOP training has been implemented in Cambodia, MyanmarTurkey, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Peru, Madagascar, Mauritania, Comoros, the occupied Palestinian territory, Jordan, India, Timor-Leste, Moldova, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Niger, Ethiopia, and Côte d’Ivoire.

My.COOP – Managing your agricultural cooperative

Publication date: 2012
- Full modules are available here on the online platform and on our website
- Check out the stock-taking brief 2012-2017
- Check out the guide for potential users
- Check out the My.Coop Smart (NEW!)
My.COOP is a training package and programme on the management of agricultural cooperatives, developed through a partnership of several organizations including the ILO, the FAO, the International Training Centre of the ILO, Agriterra, the Royal Tropical Institute and the Wageningen University and Research Centre. It has been designed for existing and potential managers of agricultural cooperatives as well as for members involved in managerial tasks to strengthen the management of agricultural cooperatives and provide guidance to cater for member satisfaction, business opportunities and social considerations.

ApexFinCoop – Advance Policy and Effectiveness for Financial Cooperative Apexes

Date launched: 2017
- Check out the 2-pager brochure
ApexFinCoop is a training programme to support financial cooperative apex organizations in developing and implementing an effective strategic planning, with the objective of fulfilling their functions over the long term in a cost-effective way, to the satisfaction of their members. It is built on a partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO). The programme has been implemented in several countries including in Ghana with the Ghana Credit Unions Association (CUA) in December 2017 and in Nepal with the Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperative Unions (NEFSCUN) in June 2019.

Promoting cooperatives: An information guide to ILO Recommendation No. 193

Publication date: 2014
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The ILO’s Recommendation 193 on the Promotion of Cooperatives was adopted in 2002 and provides an internationally agreed template for national policy. This guide will help cooperatives, governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations to know more about the Recommendation and how to use it for the development of cooperatives as a viable option for advancing sustainable development.

Guidelines for cooperative legislation, third revised edition

Publication date: 2012
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The ILO has played a key role in providing guidance and advice on the creation of enabling environments for cooperative development. In the mid-1990s it first commissioned the elaboration of guidelines for cooperative legislation to fill the gap of information on how to draft a cooperative law and policy. In 2005 a second edition was produced to provide information on two new international instruments on cooperatives – the United Nations Guidelines aimed at creating a supportive environment for the development of cooperatives, and the 2002 ILO Recommendation No. 193 on the promotion of cooperatives. This third edition has been produced to incorporate more new developments that impact how cooperative law is being developed.

The ILO Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) Academy

Publication date: N/A
- Check out the online platform
The SSE Academy is an interregional training opportunity gathering practitioners and policymakers from all around the world, to share their experiences, best practices and challenges from their work in the SSE. The training seeks to provide a better understanding of the concept of SSE, discuss the relevance of SSE as a development alternative and its relation to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, and further build and strengthen networks of SSE practitioners. The first SSE Academy took place in Turin (Italy) in 2010. Since then, eight SSE Academies have taken place in Montreal (Canada), Agadir (Morocco), Campinas (Brazil), Johannesburg (South Africa), Puebla (Mexico), San José (Costa Rica), Seoul (South Korea) and Luxembourg city (Luxembourg). The next Academy will be held in Spain in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Training resource pack for agricultural cooperatives on the elimination of hazardous child labour

Publication date: 2009
- Book 1. Trainer’s guide
- Book 2. Training course activities for cooperatives
Developed by the ILO and the International Co-operative Alliance, this training pack helps agricultural cooperatives to learn about the problems of child labour and take actions to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, particularly hazardous child labour, in their business activities, their supply chains, and in the local areas and communities where they are based.

Project design manual: A step-by-step tool to support the development of cooperatives and other forms of self-help organizations

Publication date: 2011
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Developed in a framework of ILO Cooperative Facility for Africa (COOPAfrica), the manual provides cooperatives and other types of self-help organizations with practical guidance to formulate project proposals that are economically, socially, politically and environmentally viable.

Business Group Formation - Empowering women and men in Developing Communities

Publication date: 2008
The Business Group Formation (BGF) manual was developed with a view to help promote business group formation as a way to empower women and men in low-income communities by giving them more voice and improving their businesses in order to enhance their livelihoods.

Check out the full materials in different languages

Leadership Training Manual for Women Leaders of Cooperatives

Publication date: 2005
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Developed in close collaboration between the ILO and the International Co-operative Alliance Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICA-ROAP), the training manual aims to assist trainers of cooperatives to: 1) raise the awareness of cooperative leaders on the manifestations of gender bias in cooperatives, and on the effects of discrimination against women on the personal and interpersonal growth of their leaders and members, as well as on the organizational development of cooperatives; and 2) build-up the capacity of current and potential women cooperative leaders by equipping them with knowledge and skills on the nature of cooperatives, gender-responsive leadership, cooperative enterprise management, coping with challenges and personal development.

MATCOM – Training for the management of cooperatives

Publication date: 1978-1989
- Check out the brochure
- Check out the English Modules
- Materials in CD-ROM format can be requested at ILO COOP (
MATCOM is a set of 40 trainers’ manuals and 60 learning elements covering different types of cooperatives and a wide range of technical areas. The materials were developed between 1978-1989 through the ILO MATCOM Project financed by Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway.