CO-OPERATIVE START UP
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to convey the values of sociability, mutuality, entrepreneurship, civic engagement through the knowledge of the co-operative system and the cooperative model. The project also aims to show an alternative way of doing business; the corporate structure of co-operative means in fact an investment of students’ professional potential in an institution in which employees are co-owners and in which their entrepreneurial vocation is exploited in a environment stimulating personal growth and maturation.
1) Knowledge and understanding: The course will explore the Co-operative enterprise specific regulatory, accounting, tax, governance and social responsibility aspects. The study will carried out a comparative analysis with respect to other corporate forms of business. The course will deal with the preparation of business plans, the budgeting and control and the creation of cooperatives.
2) Applying knowledge and understanding: based on the knowledge and skills acquired students will be able to prepare a business plan on the based of '"business idea", i.e. a structured and comprehensive financial plan related to the actual establishment of a co-operative company, a co-operative start-up.
3) Making judgements: students will be able to assess independently the problems related to business creation.
Course contents summary
The training contents are divided into two methodologically distinct phases.
The first phase includes the involvement of students on relevant and specific topics related to the co-operative model of enterprise, in this context, business testimonials and lessons will take place. With relevance to cooperative enterprises will be examined the specific regulations, accounting and tax aspects, governance, the kinds of co-operatives, as well as corporate social responsibility.
At the end of this first phase, students will develop a written dissertation. The latter will be focused on the development of a business plan, which will outline the salient features of the business idea, the financial sustainability of the initiative and the communicative aspects related thereto. During this second phase, students will be guided both by managers and directors of the cooperative system, and by university professors.
Distinctive and grounding aspects of Co-operatives.
Co-operative Corporate Law.
Management and organization of Co-operative enterprises.
Business Plan of Co-operatives.
Kinds of membership in Co-operative.
Business idea and market environment.
Mutuality, competition, and innovation.
C. Mills, W. Davis et alii, Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, ICA, 2013.
P. Battilani, H. Schroeter, Un’impresa speciale, Il Mulino, 2013.
A. Zanotti, La governance societaria: società per azioni e cooperative a confronto, Rubbettino, 2013.
Lectures, business testimonials, tutorials with business mentors.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written test with questions. The questions are intended to test the knowledge, communication skills, technical language and independence of judgment.
Preparation of a short research, a case study of entrepreneurial start-ups. The written paper is aimed to appreciate the ability to apply knowledge and understanding, as well as the communication skills and independent judgment.