After having been to the banks, why not submit start-ups to a stress test to assess their long-term durability and viability? Based on a unique method, here are 7 key points to test to assess the longevity of a start-up project.

  1. FREEDOM OF PARTNERS TO MOVE : are you able to survive the departure of a partner without jeopardising everything? Are you able to welcome new partners if necessary?
  2. A PROJECT RUN ON DEMOCRATIC LINES : with collective decisions, power is shared in a balanced way. And knowledge is shared to boost collective intelligence.
  3. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE : shareholders are welcome but should not upset the initial balance or threaten the autonomy of project leaders.
  4. AVOID THE RUSH FOR DIVIDENDS : some shareholders are going to put pressure on results and demand a sometimes unattainable return. The development of the business must remain the main objective, and not enriching the shareholders.
  5. EDUCATION, TRAINING, INFORMATION: be transparent as regards your stakeholders, explain things and communicate to involve them.
  6. NETWORK: not in the sense of nding new clients, but rather by creating links with other projects with whom you could work, share, exchange and learn. Be open and collaborative.
  7. IDENTIFY THE “why”: ask yourself the question why you are undertaking this project? What impact do you want your project to have? And are you ready to stay the course whatever happens?

If your project meets the 7 principles of this test, we can “almost”guarantee that your start-up will have a long-term future. How can we claim this?

The 7 points are taken from the 7 principles which govern cooperative companies. Cooperative companies have, among other things, a good reputation for long-term durability and for surviving internal and external crises without too much damage.


By getting back in touch with a cooperative, collective, co-entrepreneurship approach, the start-up community could be viewed as leaders of more human, more sustainable, more participative projects, with more meaning and interest for consumers. The current generation of entrepreneurs has everything to gain.

Jerôme Drugeon, Sowecsom

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