What's a Co-op?

According to the International Cooperative Alliance, “ a co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.”

In the United States, there are over 30,000 cooperatives that own more than $3 trillion in assets. They offer services including insurance, credit, health care, housing, phone and internet service, electric, child care, education, jobs, art, food, transportation and utility services.

The International Cooperative Alliance has established seven principles that define Co-ops.

1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives
7th Principle: Concern for Community

For more information about cooperatives in the United States or how to form your own cooperative, please visit the National Cooperative Business Association.

Coop Become a member

 

In the United States, there are over 30,000 cooperatives that own more than $3 trillion in assets.