This week, October 16-22, is Co-op Week and it is being celebrated world-wide by as many different kinds of cooperatives as you can possibly imagine. All of these cooperatives are community-based enterprises, formed by members for the primary purpose of providing a needed service or product to their community at an equitable cost.
What a revolutionary alternative business model, with a history stretching back to the mid 1800’s in England when the Rochdale principles were first introduced. Although the Rochdale principles have evolved overtime, the seven cooperative principles posted by the International Cooperative Alliance still hold firm to the basics. Cooperatives are formed by members who exercise shared and equal ownership, and democratic control, with the express purpose of making the best decisions possible for the organization as a whole.
Find out what cooperatives are operating in your community, support them where possible, and consider forming a cooperative if there is a need or service that your community is lacking.