Una Movida de Locos, an NGO (Civil Association as juridical format) of La Plata, Argentina, hosts 7 social and labor integration enterprises in different areas: textile, gastronomy, radio, ceramics, nursery, Recycled Clothing Fair and Exchange and cleaning of offices and institutions.
These projects are called «social cooperatives» and are considered mixed small enterprised, which in this case means «mixing up people from different backgrounds and needs». Each of these social coops involves approximately 4 to 8 people called «user-entrepreneurs» (usuarios emprendedores), who are supported by health professionals or advanced students of related careers (psychology, social work, occupational therapy, social psychology, among others) and other volunteers, such as artists.
The Civil Association is managed by a Board of Directors, and there are also two monthly meetings: one for professionals and volunteers and another, Empresam, where everyone participates (members of the Board of Directors, volunteers, professionals and user entrepreneurs). These meetings are ASSEMBLIES, that is, everybody who participates is on the same position to take up the word, contribute their thinking process and vote.
In May, INAES Resolution 1366 was approved, which created the figure of «social cooperative» and included several characteristics requested by the Social Cooperatives Network, a group of 60 small cooperatives for mental health entrepreneurs across the country in several different provinces.
Our team (institutionally placed simultaneously at a National Public University and at a non-for-profit Institute) was invited to be a part of the Network in 2018, and since then we have been: a) documenting the learning processes that the social cooperatives develop, specifically in regard to the social solidarity frameworks at play in their cooperatives, and b) studying critically the public policy that regulates these types of organizations, to identify obstacles and suggest changes to better support these kinds of social solidarity small enterprises.
Three members of our team (Julia de la Fuente Goldman, CONICET Doctoral Fellow; David Burin, Social Communicator and Researcher, and Ana Inés Heras, CONICET Principal Investigator) are actively collaborating with Una Movida de Locxs. Some details about the overal RESEARCH PROGRAM where the work with the Social Coops is included can be seen HERE.
A piece whereby some contextual and historical information about the framework we are constructing to do this work, inspired in part by Sándor Ferenczi´s work, can be found HERE.