Co-operative businesses are owned and run by and for their members, whether they are customers, employees or residents. As well as giving members an equal say and share of the profits.
The business planning side of starting a co-operative is very similar to starting any business. There are, however, two main differences in the process:
The start-up process generally involves more people in a democratic, inclusive planning process. These people will be the future members; as customers, workers, tenants or users. This means that you create the business that the members want.
There are lots of people and organisations who can help because you are a co-operative. The co-operative movement is great at helping more co-operatives start. Indeed co-operation amongst co-operatives is one of the seven co-operative principles.
Many people and their communities are creating new co-operative businesses. These new businesses work in everything from health care to housing, wind farms to web design and funeral care to fishing. They might be run by customers, employees or the local community.
I want to start my own business