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Co-ops 101

An Introduction to Cooperative Enterprise

Scarlett McIntosh

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of Co-ops 101

Philadelphia Edition
An Introduction to Cooperative Enterprise
How do co-ops start?
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Cooperative Business Model

Types of Co-ops

Our Vision:
We envision a vibrant and growing network of cooperative enterprises that operate in all sectors of the economy to build a better world—providing essential services, strengthening democratic organizations, creating quality jobs, building community wealth, reducing poverty, strengthening our local economy, protecting the environment and increasing community engagement.

The 7 Cooperative Principles

Producer co-ops

Co-ops are Cool (Ontario)
National Cooperative Business Association
International Cooperative Alliance
Univ. of Wisconsin Center for the Study of Cooperatives
Mid-Atlantic Food Co-op Alliance
Keystone Development Center
American Worker Cooperative
Cooperation Texas
British Columbia Cooperative Association
Credits and resources

people form a new co-op
conversion of an existing business
co-op incubators

Development Strategies

Meet member needs rather than maximize return for outside investors
Halfway between for-profit and non-profit
Combine idealism with realism
Mission-driven & values-based
People, planet, profits

The Cooperative Business Model


Access to capital
Lack of public awareness


Member loyalty
Rooted in community
Member cost/price

The Global Cooperative Marque

Co-ops are Everywhere!

S corp
C corp
Sole proprietorship
Legal Structures
Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives Act

HR #2437

Why cooperatives?

Access to quality supplies and services at reasonable cost
Increased clout in the marketplace
Share in the earnings
Political action
Local economy enhanced and protected

Benefits of Being a Co-op Member
The first cooperative in the United States was formed in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s Role in Cooperative History
Social responsibility
Caring for others
Cooperative Values

Hybrid, multi-stakeholder co-ops
Marketing Co-ops
Worker co-ops
Credit unions
Consumer co-ops
Consumer co-ops
food co-ops
housing co-ops
energy co-ops
credit unions
Worker co-ops
Producer co-ops
Marketing co-ops
Multi-stakeholder co-ops

Co-op Startups in the Philadelphia Area

to improve the lives of people in the Philadelphia region by supporting democratically organized businesses, promoting the principles of the international cooperative movement, and growing the cooperative economy.

Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance
What is a co-op?
Co-ops in the Philadelphia Area
The Modern
Cooperative Movement

1 billion co-op members worldwide

We envision a vibrant and growing network of cooperative enterprises that operate in all sectors of the economy to build a better world—
providing essential services
strengthening democratic organizations
creating quality jobs
building community wealth
reducing poverty
strengthening our local economy
protecting the environment
, and
increasing community engagement

Our Vision:
Co-ops 101:
Cooperation vs. Cooperative Enterprise
Members of Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative
Friends Housing Co-op in Northern Liberties
Greene Street Artists Cooperative in Germantown
Map of properties owned by the LCA, a housing co-op in West Philadelphia
Rep. Chaka Fattah
Principles posters available from Cooperation Texas!
How are cooperative businesses different from conventional businesses?
Who owns the business?
Who governs the business?
an individual, partners, or stockholders
largest stockholders and/or managers
What is the business' purpose?
to make profit for owners
to provide goods and services to members
What happens to profits?
reinvested in co-op or distributed to members based on their use of the co-op
reinvested in business or distributed to investors based on number of shares held
A cooperative is an
autonomous association
of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a

ICA definition on next slide
Consumer members
are co-owners where they purchase goods and services
can share in ownership and governance of their jobs
Producer members
can cooperatively market their goods.
Community members
benefit from strong co-ops and good jobs
Co-ops 101: Philadelphia Edition was produced by Caitlin Quigley and Scarlett McIntosh in 2014.
The audio was somewhat grudgingly recorded by Connor Quigley.
Full transcript