This webpage provides a useful introduction to co-operatives.
Co-operatives and mutuals are member-owned businesses where benefits are derived and distributed equitably on the basis of use. They are a rational alternative to the investor-owned business model which prioritises returns to external shareholders. Once established, many co-operative and mutual enterprises been highly successful, some serving their communities for more than 150 years.
BCCM note that there are seven co-operative principles ensure all stakeholders in the economy – customers, workers, suppliers – can have a say in business decisions. These are:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training, and information
- Co-operation among co-operatives
- Concern for Community
They state that member-based businesses create competition and choice for consumers, while also giving small to medium enterprises opportunity to share the costs to access larger markets.
Visit the webpage to learn more about co-operatives and mutuals.