What is it about?

Cooperative enterprises also require an adapted ecosystem for their development. This ecosystem approach is important for cooperatives' unions, governments, international organisations and other actors involved in creating an adapted ecosystem for cooperatives. Considering agricultural cooperatives as a form of rural entrepreneurship, this paper aims to adapt the entrepreneurial ecosystem framework for cooperatives' specific business model and contribute to the discussion of the factors that support cooperatives. Studying the case of Kyrgyz agricultural cooperatives, we identify five main dimensions of the cooperative entrepreneurial ecosystem for cooperatives: (1) policy and regulatory framework; (2) education and skills; (3) market environment; (4) culture; (5) networks.

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Why is it important?

We rarely discuss what policies are required to develop cooperatives. The article attempts at adapting the entrepreneurial ecosystem framework to cooperatives which allows for gaining a holistic view of different aspects of their development.


The article led us to study together with international organisations how the entrepreneurial ecosystem could become a tool for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the existing business environment for cooperatives. It offers a useful lens for viewing cooperatives' development challenges in order to develop adapted policies and programmes aimed to support grassroots organisations and community-owned enterprises.

Nazik Beishenaly
Associatie KU Leuven

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This page is a summary of: Entrepreneurial ecosystem for cooperatives: The case of Kyrgyz agricultural cooperatives, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, January 2023, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/apce.12407.
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