There is a reason why cooperatives are so popular, it’s just helps grow the local economy. You would be surprised to discover the wide variety of cooperatives there are.
Cooperatives are typically based on the cooperative values of “self-help, self-responsibility, democracy and equality, equity and solidarity” and the seven cooperative principles:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Economic participation by members
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training and information
- Cooperation among cooperatives
- Concern for community
Just last week, I spoke to a couple of gals from the Afgan community, they are making jewelry and baked goods. Now, they are in a place where they would like some marketing help. Just so, I understood where they are currently in their structure of their business I suggested that they get their foundation in place 1st before they move too much ahead of themselves.
I suggested that they form a Bakery Cooperative, since they all are working together now. They have much to learn of setting up a business and where should they get started.
There are a few bakeries spread all over the USA. Take for example Alvarados Street Bakery has been very successful as a worker coop.
Since their beginnings, they have embraced many other groups and have a grassroots organization to help other worker coops to get started. Check out the coop site.
Cooperatives are dedicated to the values of openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Such legal entities have a range of social characteristics. Membership is open, meaning that anyone who satisfies certain non-discriminatory conditions may join. Economic benefits are distributed proportionally to each member’s level of participation in the cooperative, for instance, by a dividend on sales or purchases.
President of the International Cooperative Alliance, Dame Pauline Green, said, “Cooperative businesses have done so much to help women onto the ladder of economic activity. With that comes community respect, political legitimacy and influence.
Today, there are nearly 30,000 cooperatives in the United States, with more than 100 million members. In nearly every part of the economy, people have joined together to do business more effectively or to get the products and services they need—from food to construction equipment to childcare—through cooperatives.
- Ace Hardware
- Credit Unions
- Worker Coops
- Retail Coops
- Volunteer Coops
- Investment Coops
- Organic Valley – it’s a dairy