Why is co-operation a better way?
In these times of economic uncertainty, many Canadians are looking for alternatives to traditional business models. They want to see businesses that are sustainable, democratic, socially-conscious and rooted in their communities. They want businesses that put people first and are guided by values and principles, not just profits. And they want businesses that contribute to creating better communities, a better Canada and a better world. In short, they want a better way to do business.
Co-operatives are independent, democratically-run organizations guided by social and economic values. They can be found in nearly every sector of the economy – agriculture, financial services, insurance, retail, housing, healthcare, funeral services, renewable energy, recreation, tourism and telecommunications, to name just a few.
The co-operative model is:
- Based on the independence of individuals and communities
- An effective tool to strengthen local economies
- A proven way to improve the quality of life
- Focuses on sustainable development
- A model that encourages participation
- Resilient in times of crisis
The 7 principles of co-operation:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training and information
- Co-operation among co-operative
- Concern for community
Co-operatives in Canada:
- 18 million members
- 155,000 employees
- More than $50 billion in annual revenues