Co-ops - what are they all about?
Co-operatives put people at the heart of their business.
They follow a broader set of values than businesses where the main aim is to make a profit. Rather than rewarding outside investors, cooperatives share their profits amongst their members, which makes it fair and worthwhile. Cooperatives share the same 7 International Principles of Cooperation. Cooperatives are owned by their members - which can be individuals or groups and even capital enterprises themselves – and members have an equal say in how their cooperative is run.
Cooperatives work in these tricky financial times because they balance the need to be profitable with the needs of their members and the broader interests of the community and the world.
There are more cooperatives in the world than most people realise. There are more than one billion people in the world who are involved in a cooperative in some form. Cooperatives operate across almost all sectors of the economy, from banking and financial markets, to housing, to food and agriculture, to publishing and to education.
Here are some interesting (and stunning, we think) facts about cooperatives that you might want to know:
> In France, co-operatives account for 60 per cent of retail banking, 40 per cent of food and agricultural production and 25 per cent of retail sales.
> In Kenya, co-operatives are responsible for 45 per cent of GDP.
> In Bolivia, one third of the population have co-operative membership.
That’s just the beginning!
Join our campaign to make these facts common knowledge around the world.
Cooperatives are an important part of the global economy – let’s make sure that the world knows too. Now is the time to fly the cooperative flag.