Pitching for Co-operatives!
The main highlight of the entire trip was the co-operative pitching competition. This was a competition among the delegates from the different countries, to pitch about their ideas for a feasible co-operative that they could potentially start up back in their country.
What was most common about the pitches, was the theme – Education and training of youths to understand and develop a co-operative mindset! This was a belief that was strongly advocated because they were convicted that youths would be the future leaders of the cooperatives. Thus, it was imperative that youths could understand the business model and learn how it could be applied in different contexts. In one of the pitches, the co-operative idea was to teach youths through the medium of movies and to develop their talents as they lived and studied to advocate their art. It was very inspiring to hear such an idea because in Singapore, we have schools for the same purpose, just that they were not co-operatives and this sparks a thought as to what could be a feasible co-operative idea.
The teams from Singapore came up with different ideas as well, to promote some of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What stood out the most from the Singapore team was the ingenuity and creativity of the ideas they had.
- The first team pitched a co-operative “Migrant Solutions Co-op Ltd” where migrant workers could be members and benefit in the long run from receiving training and preventing agent exploitations.
- The second team, “WeCater Co-op Ltd” promoted healthy living and catering for those working in the central business district (an added sense of convenience) and would be a youth workers co-operative.
Team Singapore intended the ideas to be unafraid of thinking big, but yet feasible, novel and addressing a real need.
Having been able to brainstorm these ideas, it meant that co-operatives could possibly span to even more industries in the future and it sends a message to youths, that they should dare to think outside of the box and come up with viable business solutions for our future.
The entire session wrapped up perfectly as all the delegates had presented their ideas and the judges seemed to be fairly contented with the presentations. Pitching at the Asia & Pacific level alongside adults and co-operative professionals; and learning about different presentation styles and techniques gave both teams a new found experience in planning and pitching.
The two awards that Team Singapore bagged home – Best Pitcher for Shawn Hoh, First Runner Up for Team Migrant Solutions SG (Angela Merciar, Hoo Xuan Ting, Joanne Kwok, Sean lim, Shawn Hoh) – was a pleasant bonus to a greater learning that had already taken place!
Cennic Chan & Vanesse Tang
Diploma in Business and Social Enterprise, Year 2, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Consumer Co-operative Society