Cooperatives Share a Business Model for a Better World

Cooperatives Share a Business Model for a Better World

Cooperative businesses prove that there is strength in numbers. From agriculture to health care, these businesses – often called “co-ops” – represent some of the strongest business organizations in the U.S. Dedicated to supporting co-ops, Cooperatives for a Better World shows that co-op strength, no matter the industry, leaves all communities better off.

According to Cooperatives for a Better World, one in three Americans belongs to a co-op. Co-op organizations are businesses built on voluntary membership and collective ownership, with members owning the business they jointly serve. As the name co-op suggests, the venture fosters cooperation among participants.

From a local perspective, co-ops can make small business success more attainable. Farmers and ranchers can band together to serve their local markets with complementary produce, meat and dairy products in a grocery co-op. Locally owned hardware and home improvement stores can leverage greater purchasing power in a retail co-op such as Do it Best Corp. While co-ops are typically run with a local flair, don’t underestimate their impact: The top 100 co-ops in the U.S. generated $208 billion in revenue in 2016, according to the National Cooperative Bank.

As a non-profit organization, Cooperatives for a Better World works to raise awareness and support for these businesses. The organization encourages people to find a co-op nearby and share information or experiences on social media with #cooperatives. For current or up-and-coming co-ops, Cooperatives for a Better World offers training and networking opportunities through a national community of cooperative businesses. There’s also a global connection, as Cooperatives for a Better World works alongside the International Co-operative Alliance.

At the foundation of this work is a simple message: Cooperative businesses build a better world. Co-ops thrive through local decision-making and serve the needs of their member-owners. As a result, co-ops bring sustainable growth and employment to their communities. In fact, some 2.1 million American jobs come from co-ops, according to the organization.

Co-ops work for more than commercial success. Through the cooperation of member-owners, they bring prosperity and sustainability to communities across the country and around the world. Find a co-op near you and learn more at

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