MICRO Enhancing Competitiveness of Microentreprises in Rural Areas

Unit 3: Strategies for Enterprises Co-operating


Unit 3: Strategies for Enterprises Co-operating

coworking, cooperating enterprises, networki



This unit aims to outline some strategies rural micro-enterprises can use to co-operate and collaborate.

Course on Strategies for Enterprises Co-operating



Unit 3: Strategies for Enterprises Co-operating

  How can micro-enterprises collaborate to address issues or gaps

  • What are the issues and challenges?
  • What is the benefit of collaborating?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Any existing networks that can meet the needs?
  • Potential for sub groups within existing networks?
  • Any micro-enterprise support or resource organisations that can meet these needs?
  • Type of collaborative structure that best meets your needs?

  Why Collaborate?

The purpose of collaboration is to create a shared vision and joint strategies to address concerns that go beyond the agenda of the particular group’s members 
 Models of collaboration
    http://www.midamericacphp.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MODELS-OF-    COLLABORATION-BG.pdf

  Issues outlined by rural micro-enterprises

  • More networking events to enable people to meet each other, share ideas and be inspired by the creativity and innovative ways of others
  • Importance of building networks in rural areas so that they can exchange information / services and learn from each other
  • Training for clusters of similar companies
  • Micro enterprises often need a cooperative umbrella under which to shelter and thrive

  Comments from rural micro-enterprises

“Opportunity to build current network of skills: 
-businesses to bring elements together and 
provide platform for them to meet and 
provide each other with services, 
learn from each other and network
The sum of the whole would be substantially more than the sum of the parts and lead to economies of scale”


  Comments from rural micro-enterprises

  • We need networking skills and networking training 
  • Clustering of similar rural enterprise - to reduce cost in purchasing etc
  • Transport opportunities for small service providers
  • Distribution is a major problem for rural companies 
  • There are many empty shops here- there could be a gallery/craftshop of local goods to connect us to the customer 
  • Industry specific training topics could be offered as many of the training topics are too broad as they are trying to cover aspects for all different types of businesses. 

  How can micro enterprises collaborate to address SME gaps

  • Co-operative Transport and distribution?
  • Collaborative marketing and promotion?
  • Shared spaces – empty buildings – enterprise hubs
  • Co-operative/clustering training
  • Sector and industry specific collaboration / networks
  • Co-operative purchasing (reduce costs if buy in bulk) 
  • Build networks to support and learn from each other
  • Co-operation to enhance competitiveness 

  Co-operative Structures

  • The Role of Co-operatives in Business http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-role-of-cooperatives-in-business.html
  • Co-operative - A coalition of small enterprises that combine, coordinate, and manage their collective resources http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/1967/1/fulltext.pdf P.3
  • Many types of co-operatives such as user co-operatives, co-operative banks, business co-operatives, workers' co-operatives (or producer co-operatives), and European co-operative society. Focus here on business related co-ops

  Business Co-operatives

Business Co-operatives - the members run their own businesses.  

The main types of business co-operatives are: 

  • agricultural co-operatives (farmers belong to the co-operative), 
  • co-operative fisheries (made up of professional fishermen), 
  • co-operatives of small business-owners (they organise services in common), 
  • co-operatives of haulage contractors (the members are haulage contractors),
  • co-operatives of retailers (independent shop owners are members of a group)

  Producer Co-operatives

Producer co-operatives or workers co-operatives are the only co-operatives where the members are the employees, who are majority shareholders. This group comprises workers' co-operatives, known as Scop (Société coopérative et participative), and business and employment co-operatives (coopératives d’activités et d’emploi), which support business start-up.

  Multi-Stakeholder Co-operatives

  • Multi-stakeholder co-operatives – comprise various stakeholders who have a shared objective and always include the employees and clients of the business. These are co-operative social enterprises, known as Scic (Société coopérative d’intérêt collectif or community-interest co-operative).   http://www.entreprises.coop/english-version/types-of-co-operatives.html
  • More on Multi-Stakeholder Co-operatives  https://www.slideshare.net/Alistercrowe/cooperatives-and-rural-development-a-policy-framework

  Business Networks

  • A Business Network is a complex network of companies, working together to accomplish certain goals.    
  • Networking is cooperation among firms to take advantage of complementariness, exploit new markets, integrate activities, or pool resources or knowledge to achieve economies of scale or address common problems. (Berkley and Henry -2007:315)

  Business Networking

  • Business Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which business people and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities share information and seek potential partners for ventures. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_networking)
  • Tips for successful business networking  https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanrittscher/2012/05/31/six-keys-to-successful-networking-for-entrepreneurs/#14ae2cb2580b

  Training Networks

  • Training networks are groups of private sector businesses, in the same sector and/or region that have come together to carry out training-related activities that may not be possible on their own.
  • Member businesses, and their employees, are directly involved in the identification, design, delivery and evaluation of training.  
  • Training Network model – www.skillnets.ie 


At the end of this module you will be able to: - How to collaborate as a micro-enterprise - Know the benefits of collaboration - Know different models of co-operatives - How Networks can facilitate collaboration


 Related material:
 Training Fiche PPT: