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The book – Enterprises that change lives



My book, Enterprises that Change Lives is based upon a five-year systematic review of both my study of, and my practical involvement with co-ops and many other types of SHEs.  My experience was gained over a period of more than 50 years in more than 40 different countries.  The book sets out to answer the four vital questions:
    • Why is it that although cooperatives, mutuals and other forms of self-help enterprise have made tremendous progress since their inception, many have ceased to prosper or have been hijacked by self-interested groups and sometimes demutualised?
    • What role have dogmatic approaches played in this degeneration?
    • What needs to change if the inherent weaknesses in many enterprises are to be eliminated?
    • How do we need to run co-ops if they are to become far more effective in terms of achieving their true purposes, more sustainable and far better at positively changing peoples’ lives?


I need to make it clear that I am not really interested in selling my book, but I am anxious to get people to read the book and to act upon the approaches set out in it. My aim is to cover the cost of production and allow just sufficient margin to booksellers to allow them to stock and sell copies. The cheapest way of to get my book is to download it either from Amazon or Smashwords.

Enterprises that Change Lives

This book explains how, in the 21st century, co-ops and other self-help enterprises need to be run so that they achieve their purpose and meet the real needs of their members.  It defines the model of enterprise required, sets-out the systems and the culture needed to ensure that they are fully capable of achieving their purpose.  The book doesn’t advocate doctrinaire approaches, instead, supplies the essential concepts and tools needed to transform how co-ops are organized and managed.The main purpose of this book is to help leaders think-through the issues involved so that they can make better decisions.  Without the essential method of organization and the systems required, it’s highly unlikely that even the most enthusiastic leaders will make a success of their enterprises. The book takes account of centuries of international know-how, identifying those ‘foundation practices’ that sustain this form of enterprise.  The book also explains why individuals, communities and nations need co-ops and all manner of self-help enterprises if they are to thrive in today’s world.  It also outlines what policymakers, community-developers and academics can do to help grow and sustain them.

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Updated: April 2021 © Edgar Parnell 2021

Cooperatives and all other types of self-help enterprise
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