Millions of people worldwide are members of mutually owned enterprises that have the capacity to positively change their lives. There are countless co-ops of many diverse types, working on behalf of their members; and playing an important role within their respective national economies. Together, the members control their own enterprises, which are known by such names as ‘cooperatives’, ‘credit unions’, ‘mutuals’, ‘building societies’, ‘friendly societies’, ‘community enterprises’, as well as many other different types self-help enterprise.
To find out what co-ops and self-help enterprises are, watch this short video now
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A family of enterprises
All of enterprises mentioned above belong to a family of organization that are sometimes described as ‘cooperative and mutual enterprises’. Their most important distinguishing feature is that they are all rooted in the concept of ‘self-help and mutual action’. Collectively, I would normally refer to them as ‘self-help enterprises’ or S.H.E.s for short. However, to keep it plain, on this website, I shall refer to all these different types of enterprises as ’co-ops’.
The following webpages first clarify the purpose and function of co-ops, and then set out what it takes to run viable, effective and sustainable enterprises. Including, how to make them operate in the best interest of their members. My aim is to outline the human systems required to make co-ops work as they should. Also, to describe the tools needed by those who aspire to lead, manage or guide them.