Argentine co-op movement develops free app for social and solidarity economy

Anca Voinea


Under the motto 'connecting solidarity', it allows people to search for co-op providers of goods and services.

Co-ops in Argentina can now connect with customers and other social and solidarity economy businesses through a free app.

ESSApp, developed by open software co-operative GCOOP, maps co-operatives across the country. Under the motto “connecting solidarity”, it enables people to search for co-op providers of goods and services.

The project was supported by the Institute Mobilising Co-operative Funding (IMFC) and the University of Quilmes. Co-operatives were involved in various workshops on the design of the app, and the project was brought to fruition in a little over a year. La Taba, a communications co-op, created the video tutorial promoting the project while another co-op, Huvaití, is helping to raise awareness of it.

So far, more than 3,000 co-operatives are featured on the interactive map, with another 800 due to be added.. In addition to finding the nearest social and solidarity economy businesses, users can learn more about each business, find its projects and access contact details.

The advanced search option enables them to look for co-ops by sector of activity or geographic area.

ESSApp also has a dedicated news section and events calendar for users to stay informed about what’s happening within the social and solidarity economy movement.

Commenting on the new app, Patricia Arpe, director of IMCF said: “The objective of the app is to promote co-operatives and social and solidarity economy organisations, such as mutuals, co-operative radio stations, community cultural centres, social economy fairs, marketers, public programmes and universities dedicated to the social and solidarity economy.”