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What is a Co-operative?

Co-operatives offer a alternative, a different way of doing business, both economically and socially. Its advocates believe the time really has come for a new agenda of co-operation.

Co-operatives are trading enterprises, providing goods and services and generating profits. Those profits are not taken by outside shareholders as is the case with investor-owned businesses, but are under the control of members, who decide democratically how they should be used.

As well as high street co-operatives, where consumers are the owners, there are co-operative businesses in almost every sector of the economy. I am able to help groups who are thinking about exploring co-operatives as an option when starting a business or organisation or if they want help or advice with their co-operative. For more information contact us today!

Co-operation as a business model was developed in Rochdale over 165 years ago and has spread across the globe, so that now nearly one billion of the world’s population are members of a co-operative.

Co-operatives share common, internationally recognised co-operative values and principles.

Co-operative values and principles

Like all businesses, co-operatives want to trade successfully – they are businesses. Members, such as consumers or farmers, tenants or taxi drivers, can often do better by working together. And sharing the profit is a way to keep it fair and make it worthwhile.

Co-operatives share common, internationally recognised co-operative values and principles.

Co-operative values:

  • Self help
  • Self responsibility
  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Equity
  • Solidarity

Co-operative ethical values:

  • Honesty
  • Openness
  • Social responsibility
  • Caring for others

Co-operative principles are:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education, training and information
  • Co-operation among co-operatives
  • Concern for community

If you are thinking of exploring co operative as a business model for your business or organisation and want help or advice in developing your co operative please Contact us today!