Launched in January 2011, the Cooperative Development Center is AJEEC-NISPED’s newest initiative. The Center facilitates the organization of individuals in order to promote their economic, social and cultural interests through the creation of a jointly owned and democratically managed business enterprise.
Cooperatives are regarded as one of the central pillars of the social economy; they integrate social values and community empowerment with sound business practice which creates employment and improved standards of living for all cooperative members.
The Cooperative Development Center provides cooperative business education, training and technical assistance. Our mission is to build a cooperative economy in Israel through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities. The Center offers education, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors. Our vision of a cooperative economy is of an inter-dependent dense network of enterprises and institutions that allow people to meet their individual and community needs through principled democratic ownership and action to combat injustice and inequity and promote conscious self-governance.
The Center currently focuses its activities in three target areas:
- The organization of existing small businesses into cooperative frameworks designed to strengthen small business competitiveness in an increasingly concentrated domestic economy.
- The development of cooperative frameworks among the Bedouin communities in the Negev. These efforts include sheep growers and other small business initiatives.
- The promotion of cooperative solutions to various development issues among Social Action Partnerships – groups of people who have chosen to build their lives in socially and geographically
marginalized Israeli towns and neighborhoods to help decrease socio-economic gaps and effect long-term social and educational change.
The Cooperative Development center is collaborating with the office of the Registrar of Cooperatives, the Small Business Development Centers of The Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as existing cooperative institutions and organizations.