In the Netherlands over 800,000 people, including many refugees, live in poverty, are socially excluded, and have poor job prospects. They have difficulty finding regular employment, due to a lack of education, inadequate language skills, bad health or other issues. Many of them have been living on social benefits for years and feel side-lined in society. Yet, many of them possess the skills and talents to start their own business. They can create products and deliver services that are in demand.
Cordaid wants to support their ambitions by setting up and promoting social cooperatives. In such a cooperative, members can work together in one business, such as a catering, or each individual can set up its own business. In both cases the cooperative takes care of services like the administration and bookkeeping. Profits made by members can be used for training, or reinvested in the business. Participants can increase their professional skills and at the same they can set up and expand their business in a secured setting. This allows participants to become more self-confident, increase their network, and, eventually, run a successful business or reintegrate into the labor market.