Co-ops

A co-op is "a jointly owned enterprise.”  Productivity increases by 9 to 19% in cooperative businesses.  Co-ops are usually engaged in the production or distribution of goods or the supplying of services.  A co-op may have social goals, using a portion of the proceeds to make an impact on society. Decisions are made democratically by a vote, one per member. The start-up capital can be raised by a small membership “buy in” rather than by going into debt.

Co-ops are everywhere.

How a co-op works.

Organizing to meet basic needs:

Housing Co-ops
Energy Co-ops
Worker Co-ops
Producer / Marketing Co-ops
Childcare Co-ops
Artist Co-ops
Freelancer Co-ops
Consumer Co-ops
Purchasing Co-ops

Credit Unions

Food Co-ops

Farmer Veteran Co-ops

Worker Owned Co-ops interrupt the American cycle of poverty that is cause by a flawed system that is a self-reinforcing cycle.

  • No money.
  • No education.
  • No jobs.
  • No money.

The characteristic of a flawed system is that it tolerates the flaws without fixing them.

Housing Co-ops

Singapore

Food Co-ops

Professor J. Palmer (Jim) Brown
Worker Owned Co-op

Health Co-ops


Health Care Co-op,
Samaritan Ministries

The capitalist model places the CEO at the top of a pyramid and the consumers are at the bottom.  The majority of the money flows up the to the top. Customers are a means to an end and profits are the bottom line.

The co-op model turns the pyramid upside down with the consumers and workers at the top dividing the profits, and a general manager at the bottom, earning a reasonable salary.

Contrasting Goals: The capitalist model is required by law to maximize shareholder’s value. In contrast, the co-op by law exists to maximize the benefits and returns for the members of the co-op.

A worker-owned co-op is owned and operated by its members for their mutual benefit.  Members are given ownership in exchange for work instead of capital. A worker-owned co-op is a complicated system for sharing ownership and laws vary from state to state.  There are very few attorneys that know about worker-owned co-ops.  There is also a general lack of awareness of the benefits of a worker-owned co-op.  This may be the reason that so few co-ops are worker-owned.  Instead they are consumer or producer owned.

Cooperative businesses are typically more resilient than many other forms of enterprise, with 80% of co-operatives surviving their first five years compared with 41% of other business ownership models. More than one billion people in 96 countries have joined at least one cooperative, and many have joined more than one.  If member of co-ops were a country, they would be the seventh largest country in the world.  It is a good solution to break the cycle of poverty and allow for ownership and prosperity within the poorest communities.  It is a higher note in the triad of the economic chord.

Energy Co-ops

 

Engineering and
Manufacturing Co-ops

Co-ops:
Healthier Economic Development

Credit Unions vs Banks