What is the definition of co-operative?
A co-operative is a business that is owned and democratically managed by its members. This type of organisation operates on the basis of self-help, mutual aid and self-responsibility. Co-operatives come in all shapes and sizes, from small local businesses to large international companies. They are internationally recognised as a distinct legal model of business which places the core values of fairness and solidarity at their heart. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what defines a co-operative and how it works in practice.
What is a cooperative?
A cooperative is an organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. Cooperatives may be formed for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to: economic, social, political, or religious.
Origins of the cooperative movement
The cooperative movement began in the 18th century with the formation of mutual aid societies. These organizations were created to provide financial assistance to members in times of need. As the Industrial Revolution began, workers began to form cooperatives in order to pool their resources and negotiate better working conditions with their employers.
The first successful cooperative business was the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in England in 1844. The Rochdale Pioneers developed a set of principles that continue to guide cooperatives today. These principles include voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education and training, and cooperation among cooperatives.
The cooperative movement spread throughout Europe and North America in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the United States, the Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914 to help farmers learn about and adopt new farming techniques. The credit union movement also began in the early 1900s as a way for working people to pool their resources and access affordable credit.
The different types of cooperatives
-Producer cooperatives: These are businesses owned by the producers of goods or services. The producers share in the profits and losses of the cooperative.
-Purchasing cooperatives: These are businesses owned by a group of people who pool their resources to make purchases. The members share in the savings and losses of the cooperative.
The principles of cooperatives
There are seven principles that cooperatives adhere to:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
2. Democratic Member Control
3. Member Economic Participation
4. Autonomy and Independence
5. Education, Training, and Information
6. Cooperation among Cooperatives
7. Concern for Community
The benefits of being a member of a cooperative
When you become a member of a cooperative, you are joining a group of like-minded individuals who are committed to working together for the common good. As a member, you have a say in how the cooperative is run and you can help shape its future.
Cooperatives are based on the principles of democracy, equality, and solidarity. This means that all members have an equal say in decision-making, and that decisions are made for the benefit of the whole group, not just for individual gain. Cooperatives also promote social cohesion by bringing people together to work towards a common goal.
Membership in a cooperative has many benefits. As well as being part of a supportive community, you can also enjoy financial benefits such as discounts on products and services, and reduced fees for membership. Cooperative members often also have access to special loans and insurance schemes.
How to start your own cooperative business
There are a few key steps you need to take in order to start your own cooperative business. First, you need to determine what type of cooperative you want to create. There are many different types of cooperatives, so it is important to do your research and choose the one that best suits your needs and goals. Once you have chosen the type of cooperative you want to create, you need to develop a business plan. This plan should include your cooperative’s mission and vision, as well as any strategies or tactics you plan on using to achieve these goals. After your business plan is in place, you need to find like-minded individuals who are interested in becoming members of your cooperative. Once you have found a group of people who are committed to your cause, you need to draft up some bylaws and articles of incorporation. These legal documents will help protect both you and your members from liability, and they will also outline the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the cooperative. Finally, once your bylaws and articles of incorporation are in place, you can begin working on setting up shop and marketing your new business!
The definition of co-operative is a business or organization owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits. Co-operatives are based on principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. They offer an effective way to bring individuals together in order to solve common problems and improve the quality of life for their members. Whether you are looking at starting your own co-operative venture or joining one already in existence, it is important to understand what these organizations entail so that you can successfully meet your goals.