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Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Developing and working with Co-operatives

Co-operatives are very special types of social enterprises.


Ownership, Governance & Control.

Co-operatives take many structural and governance forms whether they are Consumer Co-ops owned and governed by their shoppers, Worker Co-ops owned and governed by their work force, Housing Co-ops owned and controlled by tenants, or maybe farmers, builders, merchants etc using a Co-operative as a means to share equipment, organise joint buying or joint marketing.

Choosing the most appropriate structure.

Co-operatives have a choice of structure which might mean a Co-operative CIC under Company Law or a Society under Co-operative & Community Benefit Society Law. 

Therefore you should seek specialise advice from those that work with these structures before deciding which form is best for your needs. 

Community Empowerment Ltd are specialists in forming and supporting Co-operatives and so if you want to explore the Co-operative options please contact us (main menu).

Achieving community 'buy in'.

It is very important that those wishing to genuinely maximise community 'buy in' and participation in a community economic enterprise should give full consideration to using one or other Co-operative form as Co-operative can offer economic returns to their members (dividend) as well as directly benefiting the community at large. 

Please note that the Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies Act introduces the option of another kind of Society. Community Benefit Societies which whilst not returning a share of profits to members can be used for situations such as community owned facilities such as pubs, swimming pools, solar energy farms, etc. These are usually setup with a community share offer which pays interest to members.

An important ALTERNATIVE to voluntary organisations.

Co-ops (and in some cases Community Benefit Societies) should  be recognised as an alternative to voluntary organisations and charities.

They are very different!    -   They should not be confused!

This is because, whether intentional or not, charities and voluntary organisations encourage dependency whereas the aim of Co-operatives is to encourage mutual-self-help.

Like CIC type social enterprises, Co-operatives trade and should not be grant dependent.

Indeed as already mentioned Co-operatives can earn economic as well as community benefit for their members.

Wherever the aim is to improve community empowerment, increase confidence and genuinely involve communities in understanding and

solving their problems, Co-operatives should be recognised as the preferred alternative to the 'doing it for them' approach which  perpetuates .dependency.

CONTACT an experienced Co-op Development Consultant.