Young Co-operators Prize offers £2,000 to help young people to set up new co-ops.

By Oliver Sylvester-Bradley on 19 Feb 2015 - 10:19

The Young Co-operators Prize is the beginning of a wider campaign to empower young people to create a more equal and sustainable economy by setting up co-ops.

A collaboration between AltGenCo-operatives UK  and ten partner universities across the UK, the YCP aims to make it as easy as possible for students and graduates to choose co-operatives as an alternative career pathway.

Founded by three recent graduates frustrated by the unfair and exploitative nature of the world of work, AltGen supports 18-29 year olds to set up co-operative businesses as an empowering and collaborative solution to youth unemployment.

Through sharing stories, running workshops, bringing young people together and providing business support, AltGen encourages graduates to stop competing and start collaborating to create an alternative future. One where work enables people to generate a fair income, do what they love and have a positive social impact.

At Elevator we love the vision of AltGen and are super impressed to see the founders taking things in to their own hands and working so hard to create the future they want.

Before founding AltGen, Rhiannon Colvin felt, like many graduates, that her only path into a career she wanted was to undertake unpaid internships. In 2012 following an unsuccessful application, for an unpaid placement with a youth empowerment organisation, she had a revelation.

I was one of 150 young people who wanted to work on empowering other young people and because this one job existed only one person was going to do that.

I realised that we’re all fighting each other for unpaid work and noticed that a lot of young people’s energy was going to waste in this process and thought: why aren’t we working together to create our own work?

The co-op movement has a vast amount of knowledge and resources on how to create a more equal and sustainable economy, but no idea how to communicate with young people – so that’s what we do at AltGen.

We want to make it as easy as possible for a young person to set up a co-op,

says Rhiannon.

We want it to be that co-ops are seen as a viable career pathway and if you choose to take it, you know where to go to get start-up capital and who can help you with your business plan.

Find out more and apply for a £2000 co-op startup fund, at YCP before the end of February 2015.