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 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 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