This Organization Is Helping Young People Form Co-Ops

Power to the co-op people


(Sheryl Watson /

AltGen is a co-operative that empowers young adults ages 18-29 create their own co-ops. The organziation was founded as an alternative to competitive and poorly-paid career paths, instead encouraging young professionals to form their own businesses through collaboration and ethical practices, and has so far spoken to more than 3,000 people at seminars and career fairs across the UK. They also run workshops in universities explaining how co-operatives work, and recently launched the Young Co-operator's Prize which offers five $3,200 startup grants for 18–29 year olds with a cooperative business idea.  

Co-director Constance Laisné believes having young professionals lead the co-operative moment will help society as a whole in the long run. “In the past two and a half years AltGen has acquired a national and international reputation as a changemaker: we put youth on the agenda of the international co-operative movement. Young people are increasingly exploring and practicing how the co-operative model and principles can create a fairer and more equal, democratic and sustainable economy,” she said.

With more and more young Brits taking an interest in alternatives to a classic career, AltGen also launched a new network of over 80 young co-operators from 14 countries across Europe, encouraging them to learn from each other and exchange strategies, advice, and resources. The brains behind AltGen firmly believe that the co-operative movement can transform society to move towards meaningful and rewarding work, empowering the disempowered, and serve the collective wellbeing of people and our planet. 

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