The cooperative form of company recently gained new popularity in Germany. Both, the international year of cooperatives as well as increasing numbers of cooperative start-ups in various sectors of the German economy have contributed to this effect. There is even talk of a ‘renaissance’ of cooperatives.
The paper analyzes the status and opportunities of cooperative activity in the social welfare sector. How many registered cooperatives (eG) deliver social services or provide community welfare? What services do they offer? What kind of economic conditions prevail in these sectors and how are they to change in the near future? What could this mean for the attractiveness of this legal form in social welfare delivery? Are there new potentials to be foreseen? What would be needed for these to be utilized cooperatively? These questions are tackled by the paper from a socio-economic perspective also drawing on practice examples.