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BEDC to run two seminars on co-operatives

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Co-operative expert: William Generett will speak at two BEDC seminars in Hamilton next week (Photograph supplied)

Six experts on starting and running co-operatives will speak at two community seminars next week.

The free-admission events, hosted by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, will be held on December 4 and 5.

Five of the experts — Michael Peck, William Generett, Carmen Huertas, Kristin Barker and Chris Cooper — are members of the 1worker1vote movement, a US-based non-profit organisation which believes that workers should “own their labour and rent their capital” instead of the opposite.

A sixth visiting speaker is Ibon Zugasti, international projects manager for LKS, a segment of the Engineering and Business Services division of the Mondragon Corporation, based in Spain.

Mondragon is a federation of worker co-operatives based in the Basque region of Spain, as well as a corporation. It is the tenth largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover.

Next Tuesday’s seminar will focus on introducing foundational co-operative development information, inclusive of understanding a co-operative business structure, the different types of co-operatives and the benefits of starting a co-operative business in Bermuda.

In addition, there will be historical perspectives shared, notable ecosystems such as the highly successful Mondragon and information on financing your co-operative.

Next Wednesday’s seminar, will focus on co-operative governance, local co-operative development opportunities and will further explore the financing of co-operative ventures.

Both evenings will also feature a panel discussion featuring the visiting experts. Attendees will be able to ask questions and get feedback on their ideas.

William Spriggs, director of economic and co-operative development at the BEDC, described next week’s seminars as “next-level educational resources to Bermudians desirous of starting a co-operative business”.

Last week the BEDC hosted “An Evening with Dr Julian Manley”, featuring the president of the Preston Co-operative Development Network. The English city of Preston’s community-based economic rejuvenation has won plaudits around the UK.

“Our recent November 20 co-operative seminar with Dr Manley was a great success,” Mr Spriggs said.

“The 1worker1vote and LKS team are renowned co-operative ecosystem practitioners and developers who have individually achieved notable successes within their jurisdictions. “Bermudians wanting to learn about the fascinating world of co-operatives in their pursuit of starting their own businesses should make every effort to attend these life and business-changing seminars.”

Next week’s seminars will take place on December 4 and 5, both from 5.45pm to 8.30pm at St Paul’s Centennial Hall, Hamilton. Admission is free.

Those interested in attending should contact the BEDC, on the first floor of Sofia House, Hamilton, visit http://bit.ly/bedcrsvp, e-mail reception@bedc.bm, or call 292-5570. Refreshments will be served

Michael Peck (Photograph supplied)
Carmen Huertas (Photograph supplied)
Ibon Zugasti (Photograph supplied)
Kristin Barker (Photograph supplied)
Chris Cooper (Photograph supplied)