1. Co-ops put people and values first
Co-ops take an ethical and sustainable approach to business by considering both the economic as well as the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of their activities. Therefore, decisions made by co-ops balance the need for profitability with the needs of their members and wider community interests.
2. Co-ops are resilient
Often, co-operatives are more stable over time and more resilient in economic downturns. When other businesses may shut down or lay off workers, co-op members pull together to work out solutions.
3. Co-ops support their communities
Because co-operatives are democratically owned by community members, co-ops keep money and jobs in their communities. Co-operatives also enable communities to have a degree of autonomy from outside forces. Community-based ownership helps to protect co-ops from takeovers and closures by outside decision-makers.
4. Co-ops are adaptable
There are various co-operative structures, which cater to businesses and enterprises across industries. Co-ops can also evolve their structures over time through a democratic process as they scale or adapt to the changing needs of their members.
5. Co-ops distribute risk and reward
Co-operatives make it more accessible for people to form a business by sharing the initial costs and the legal and financial risks amongst multiple individuals. Co-ops tend to make less risky decisions since many people are invested in and accountable for the longevity of the business.
6. Co-ops are proven
The first official co-operative dates back to 1844, but people have been engaging in co-operative business practices since time immemorial. Why? Because they work!