What is a Cooperative?

Cooperatives are a concept of democratic economic control.  The modern cooperative movement rose in parallel to modern capitalism in the 18th century.  Today, cooperatives can be found around the world, with a total of more than a billion members. 

Add my co-op!

Want to add your co-op, organization, band, or project to this directory?  Email Alfred at mail -at- firstcultural -dot- com

Cooperative Organizations

California Center for Cooperative Development

National Cooperative Business Association

International Cooperative Allliance

Cooperative Principles
The cooperative principles, also known as the Rochdale Principles are:

1. Voluntary and Open Membership: anyone can join, and discrimination is not tolerated within the organization.

2. Democratic Member Control: decisions are either made collectively, with each member having one vote, or by leaders elected by members.

3. Member Economic Participation: funding is provided by members, and profits are either returned to members or used to expand the cooperative.

4. Autonomy and Independence: when external funding is needed, it is obtained in a way that members retain control of the organization.

5. Education, Training and Information: co-ops teach members and the public how to do what they are doing, and also how to run a business or organization.

6. Co-operation among Co-operatives: cooperatives work together at the local, national, and global level.

7. Concern for Community: co-ops promote sustainable economies, societies, and ecosystems.