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About Co-operative
 

Co-operatives are social enterprises formed by members, for members, for good.
Co-operatives range in size – from humble store-fronts to large Fortune 500 companies. In fact, the Co-operatives can be found in all traditional economic sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, consumer and financial services, housing, and production (workers' co-operatives).
While similar in many ways to any other enterprise, Co-operatives are unique in ways that truly matter to society and to the members they serve.

  • Ownership: Cooperatives are owned and democratically controlled by their members-the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods-not by outside investors; Co-op members elect their board of directors from within the membership.
  • Dividends: Return surplus revenues (income over expenses and investment) to members proportionate to their use of the cooperative, not proportionate to their “investment” or ownership share.
  • Social Impact: Are motivated not by profit, but by service-to meet their members’ needs or affordable and high quality goods or services; Exist solely to serve their members.
  • Mutual Help: Pay taxes on income kept within the co-op for investment and reserves. Surplus revenues from the co-op are returned to individual members who pay taxes on that income.

What is the co-operative difference?
Co-operatives are enterprises that put people at the centre of their business and not capital. Co-operatives are business enterprises and thus can be defined in terms of three basic interests: ownership, control, and beneficiary. Only in the co-operative enterprise are all three interests vested directly in the hands of the user.

Co-operatives put people at the heart of all their business. They follow a broaderset of values than those associated purely with making a profit. Because co-operatives are owned and democratically-controlled by their members (individuals or groups and even capital enterprises) the decisions taken by co-operatives balance the need for profitability with the needs of their members and the wider interests of the community.

Co-operatives are also enterprises that follow a set of principles and values.