ILO provides training on cooperatives in Bo City, Sierra Leone

The training of trainers (ToT) workshops took place under the ILO’s Opportunity Salone project utilizing Think.Coop, Start.Coop, and My.Coop training packages.

News | 27 April 2023
The ILO, through its flagship Opportunity Salone Project, completed the training of entrepreneurs in three areas which include the Think.Coop, Start.Coop, and My.Coop training packages held at the Beacon Lodge, in Bo City, in the southern part of the country.

The training, which took place from 20th February to 3rd March 2023, brought together 20 trainers (incl. 9 women) from the four districts of the project to provide training skills and tools to assist the members of the community who want to start cooperative businesses in Sierra Leone. The Consultant, from Benin-Republic, trained the trainers on the three cooperatives’ tools Think.Coop, Start.Coop, and My.Coop.
  • Think.Coop provides information on basics on the concept of cooperation, importance of relationships, and introduction to the cooperative principles and business model.
  • Start.Coop helps the participants identify the core members of their cooperative, define their business ideas, research the feasibility of this business idea, prepare their business plan and decide on the organizational set-up of their cooperative.
  • The third tool, My.Coop targets existing and potential managers of agricultural cooperatives as well as members involved in managerial tasks to strengthen the management of agricultural cooperatives and provide guidance to cater for member satisfaction, business opportunities and social considerations.
The participants recognized the knowledge they received on the use of these tools toward setting up and improving the management of cooperatives would enable them to contribute meaningfully to the growth and successes of cooperatives in the country.

According to Simche Amber Caulker, a businesswoman who is interested in starting a cooperative in the southern province, noted that “the training has helped us shape our ideas on how to start our cooperative”. She also added “It will contribute greatly to how I manage my relationship with people in my group, as a key in running a smooth and successful cooperative.

Councilor, Edmond Koroma, of Ward 304 Bo, District Council, and Mary Alpha, who have experience in business proposal writing, thanked the ILO and the European Union for their timely intervention in bringing such a training opportunity. They noted that the learning will help bring entrepreneurs together in cooperatives to access goods and services together in a more sustainable manner in Sierra Leone.