What is a Co-op? (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago we kicked off our series explaining what a co-op is by comparing its principles to those used by nonprofits and businesses (if you missed that post, check it out here). Today we continue with a look two more principles of co-operatives.

principle 2 graphic (7)

Principle 4: Autonomy and independence
In a co-op: Co-operatives are autonomous and primarily accountable to their members. If a co-op chooses to collaborate with another organization, members ensure that this partnership reflects and upholds the values of the co-operative.

In a business: The business is primarily accountable to its shareholders and/or its clients to generate a profit.

In a community nonprofit: The non-profit is accountable to the individuals it serves and to its funders.

principle 2 graphic (8)

Principle 5: Education, training, information

In a co-op: High value is placed on training and education, as well as on educating the community on co-ops and the benefits of collaborative work.

In a business: Education is variable depending on corporate culture and how strongly the company prioritizes professional development. Education or training may be provided if it will generate revenue or minimize expense.

In a community nonprofit: Similarly to a co-op, nonprofits place a high value on skill development and on-the-job mentorship/training

Next week we’ll cover the remaining two ICA principles. In the meantime, be sure to check us out on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.


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