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The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) which represents co-operatives around the world defines a co-operative as: “An autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”

Co-operatives operate according to seven basic principles:
  1. Voluntary and Open Membership;

  2. Democratic Member Control;

  3. Member Economic Participation;

  4. Autonomy and Independence;

  5. Education, Training and Information;

  6. Co-operation Among Co-operatives; and

  7. Concern for Community.

Are you thinking of co-op as a business model? Here is a handy Self Assessment Tool

Helpful Websites
Financing Co-ops: Series of Four Videos on Co-op Financing and Securities

In the Subscribers Only Section you will find:

  • A car sharing co-op in action
  • Examples of worker and health care co-ops
  • A co-op feasibility study
  • A study guide on co-operative concepts and processes
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