Cooperative Economics

Cooperatives are businesses voluntarily owned and governed by the community that uses its products and services and those who benefit directly from what the company has to offer. Any business can have a cooperative model, from a supermarket to a bank (credit union) to a media network. 

Cooperatives allow people to take control of their economic future and, because they are not owned by shareholders, the economic and social benefits stay in the community. Profits generated are either reinvested in the enterprise or returned to the members. 

Cooperatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. Whether the members are the customers, employees, users or residents, cooperatives are democratically managed by the ‘one member, one vote’ rule. Members share equal voting rights regardless of the amount of capital they put into the enterprise.

Cooperatives are value driven business sharing internationally agreed upon principles and putting fairness, equity, and social justice at the heart of the work. 

7 Principles of Cooperative

  1. Open and Voluntary Membership.
  2. Democratic Member Control.
  3. Members’ Economic Participation.
  4. Autonomy and Independence.
  5. Education, Training, and Information.
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives.
  7. Concern for Community.

Source: International Cooperative Alliance