The first ten cooperative societies set up by youngsters will benefit from a seed capital of Rs 25,000 under the Cooperative Development Fund for their new business ventures, announced the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, on Saturday 10 August 2019 at the National Cooperative College (NCC) in Bois Marchand, Terre Rouge. The Minister was speaking at the launching of a workshop on the Importance and role of Cooperative Credit Unions.
The aim of the workshop, organised by the Telecom Employees CCU Ltd, was to create awareness on the increasing relevance of cooperatives in the Mauritian economy and the potentials of the sector in alleviating poverty, generating employment and supporting the socio-economic development of the country.
In his address, the Minister pointed out that there are currently 150 cooperative credit unions with some 60,000 members which are contributing around Rs 2.9 billion to the Mauritian economy. Loans amounting to about Rs 1 billion, he said, are also being provided by cooperative credit unions to members. The unions have been instrumental in improving the standard of living of several people, he further added.
Various incentives, Mr Bholah underlined, including the creation of the Cooperative Audit Unit, the Mauritius Cooperative Alliance Limited and the NCC, have been introduced to further consolidate the sector. Cooperatives, he stated, will be called upon to modernise and adopt new approaches to doing business in light of global competition and technological advancements.
In addition, the Minister stressed that cooperative societies must be encouraged to embrace the principles of good governance in order to ensure the absence of financial scandals and malpractices. There is an urgency to sensitise cooperatives on the need to set up credible and higher standards in order to win back the trust and faith of the youth in cooperative entities, he said.