For a long time, cooperatives have been considered as important tools to address social problems, such as poverty, unemployment and the informal economy. Recently, cooperatives have been formally acknowledged as part of the diverse private sector actors in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 and in the ILO Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy Recommendation, 2015 (No. 204). 3 While cooperatives are explicitly recognized as a form of entrepreneurship which can contribute to the SDGs as well as to the transition from the informal to the formal economy, the way in which cooperatives can contribute is not sufficiently clear. Are cooperatives just one among the private sector actors like other private enterprises? Or do they have specific features which would make them more relevant in addressing problems related to work and employment, particularly those caused by informality?