How to form a co-operative?
What is a co-operative?
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspiration through a jointly owned and a democratically controlled enterprise.
Characteristics of the co-operative are;
- Association of persons
- Voluntary basis
- Common need
- Joint ownership
A co-operative is guided by seven internationally recognized principles
- Open and voluntary membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Education, training and development
- Autonomy and Independence
- Co-operation among co-operatives
- Community concern
A co-operative is a form of an enterprise that provides services to it members. It's surplus are divided among members in relation to the amount of business each member did with the co-operative depending on the nature of the co-operative business.
- As a co-operator on achieves what he/she could not achieve on his/her own
- A co-operator is provided with an easy access to needed services
- A co-operator pay less for inputs, marketing, distribution and selling of produce
How to start a co-operative?
Engage people who need the service, and identify the common service interest. Once that is done, organize a meeting for the potential members to discuss the process including doing a feasibility study for the co-operative sustainability.
- Five people are required to form a primary co-operative
- A constitution adopted by members (models are available)
- A business plan
NB: This information is produced by Dora Tamana Co-operative Centre in support co-operative development in South Africa and can be contacted @ 011 339 1592/1651 during office hours or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.