Virtual events coop launched by young people in the Philippines

16 Mar 2023

With support from the YRP, Red Root Artists Cooperative has developed a new platform coop, Youth Connect Cooperative (YCC).  

Red Root Artists Cooperative, based in the Philippines, delivers creative work across a range of areas including digital design, audio-visual communication and marketing.  

The cooperative had been operating for several years before it heard about the YRP at the Global Youth Forum 2020 in Kuching, Malaysia. 

While confident in their capability, the Red Root team recognised how difficult winning a place on the YRP would be. They explained during a Tête-à-Tête with the ICA:  

“We had met young cooperators from the Asia-Pacific region during the 2nd ICA-AP Cooperative Youth Summit in Cebu and we knew back then how challenging it would be to compete with other countries. We were hoping to win and were quite ecstatic to be chosen among the many competitive entries.” 

The idea Red Root submitted to the YRP was to develop a youth-led cooperative that would pioneer a Virtual Events Platform. Bringing together youth partners, event industry suppliers and other stakeholders, it is envisioned to become the go-to events platform for virtual event organisers, talents, and technology and logistics providers.  

The launch of YCC brought significant administrative challenges during the incorporation process, which began in March 2021, but the team overcame them and registered the co-op with the Cooperative Development Authority of the Philippines on 24 September 2021. 

But there were other challenges, the team adds. “It has been our experience that being young in business in this country is quite challenging if you do not have the right connections and the capital. Even today in the cooperative sector, being relatively younger has always been a challenge in dealing with serious cooperative projects - it seems that big cooperatives only trust younger cooperators with meagre projects rather than financially sustainable ones.”  

Despite this, with support from the YRP and guidance from Red Root, YCC have made significant strides, including the delivery of a virtual 360 Annual Report for the Bureau of Internal Revenue of the Philippines and co-delivery with Red Root of a number of events, for clients including the National Research Council of the Philippines, the Philippines Department of Justice and Johnson & Johnson. 

Members of Red Root and YCC say the cooperative model is best because “it helps democratise the means of production”. If the principles are followed religiously, they say it can be an avenue to prevent exploitation. “We've seen that cooperatives can be the future for a sustainable global economic model. We need to create a supply chain and value chain that truly serves everyone's interest.”