Key figures

Number of cooperatives per sector
Key figures

Research overview

Responding to challenges and existing knowledge gaps facing the cooperative movement, this mapping research seeks to provide exhaustive information on cooperatives around the world.

This is achieved through a process jointly conducted by the ICA and its four regional offices – Cooperatives of the Americas, Cooperatives Europe, ICA Africa, and ICA Asia-Pacific – using a common methodology, designed with the support of external experts from the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).

Each office collected the input of ICA members present in the countries within its geographic area, by using a common questionnaire, and completing it with relevant national statistics, in order to obtain a picture of the national situation. As a result, the data above is collected following two strategies: 1) a survey targeting ICA cooperative members 2) collecting national statistics already available in the country. The numbers above provide aggregated data from ICA members on the number of cooperatives, as well as the number of cooperative employees and memberships in the country. More methodological information is available in the full report. In Peru, the data is collected for the reference year 2017.

Mapping out cooperatives in each country provides a more precise picture of the cooperative context at national and regional levels, enhances the movement's visibility, networking, partnerships opportunities, as well as advocacy, and empowers cooperators by providing tools for positive change.

This webpage presents a snapshot of the research results for Peru. For more information and the full research results, you can download the report by clicking on the links above.



In modern Peru, cooperativism emerged at the end of the 19th century and the second decade of the 20th century with the first Peruvian cooperatives within the incipient labor movement together with artisan mutualism, becoming the first cooperative movement in Peru.

Through historical facts, it has been identified that the first Peruvian cooperatives emerged in the 19th century promoted by the labor movement, as well as artisan mutualism. The first cooperative demonstrations take place in the context of workers' mutualism and are influenced by Rochdali through Fernando Garrido. However, Cooperativism could not prosper due to the lack of capital, organization, union discipline and adequate political environment.

According to Confenacoop, the first cooperative formed as such in Peru was a consumer cooperative, organized by the Confederación de Artesanos Unión Universal in 1866. The first cooperative proposals and manifestations that respond to European influence occurred in Peru from the second half of the last century, within the craft industry and the nascent labor movement, along with the mutual movement. These manifestations occurred in isolation and without much significance until 1930. It was only in the 1930s that cooperativism was established in Peru with some effectiveness, under the influence of models from Europe and North America.



Peru counts ICA member organisations:

- Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Crl. "Francisco Bolognesi" Ltda., is a full member in the finance sector.

- Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito del Centro - COOPAC CENTROCOOP, is a full member and an intersectoral national organization.

- Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Santa María Magdalena, Ltda. (CACSMM), is a full member in the finance sector.

- Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito San Martín de Porres Ltda. (C.A.C. San Martín de Porres Ltda.), is a full member in the finance sector.

The data collected was for the reference year 2017.

Legal framework

Legal framework
Legal framework

The legal framework analysis aims to provide general knowledge of the national cooperative legislation and of its main characteristics and contents, with particular regard to those aspects of regulation regarding the identity of cooperatives and its distinction from other types of business organisations, notably the for-profit shareholder corporation.

It aims to evaluate whether the national legislation in place supports or hampers the development of cooperatives, and is therefore “cooperative friendly” or not, and the degree to which it may be considered so, also in comparison to the legislation in force in other countries of the ICA region, or at the supranational level.

In addition, the research aims to provide recommendations for eventual renewal of the legal frameworks in place in order to understand what changes in the current legislation would be necessary to improve its degree of “cooperative friendliness”, which is to say, to make the legislation more favourable to cooperatives, also in consideration of their specific identity. This webpage presents a snapshot of the legal framework analysis results for Peru.


Peru has a General Law of Cooperatives (GLC) that constitutes the main rule of application and regulation of all cooperatives in the country. This Law was promulgated by Legislative Decree No. 085, in May 1981. As of the date of this report, the GLC has more than 38 years of validity, during which time it has undergone a series of modifications and derogations.

This Law coexists together with the “General Law of Societies” (GLS), which regulates other collective ways to carry out business activity, and although there have been attempts to incorporate cooperatives as a section of the GLS, and cooperatives have continued to be regulated in their own special Law.


Cooperative Friendliness

In general, the legislation has not been helping the consolidation of cooperatives in Peru. In that sense, it is urgent to provide the Cooperative Sector with modern and comprehensive legislation that provides legal certainty.


Key recommendations for improvement

•    Achieve recognition at the constitutional level, that based on the promotion of the cooperative model, highlights the difference between cooperatives and commercial societies under the Cooperative Act.
•    A new General Cooperative Law, since the current law already has more than 38 years of validity. During this period, the General Companies Law was completely amended 3 times.
•    Regulate the General Law of Cooperatives in order to avoid the supplementary application of other laws, which causes legal uncertainty because the application or not depends on the duty officer.



The general perception is that the regulations have not contributed to consolidating the development of the cooperative model. Modern standards are required for development without contingencies and legal certainty. An initial and important step has been taken with the modernization of the legislation applicable to savings and credit cooperatives pending the modernization of a new General Law on Cooperatives.

It should be noted, however, the effort that the State has been making to spread the benefits of cooperativism as an enhancer of micro and small businesses.




The legal frameworks analysis is a tool developed under the ICA-EU Partnership #coops4dev. It is an overview of the national legal frameworks at the time of writing. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the ICA, nor does a reference to any specific content constitute an explicit endorsement or recommendation by the ICA. 

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