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A Cooperative Taxonomy: Building on the Strength of Community

By | Cooperatives Work, Social Enterprise | 5 Comments

The Cooperative Structure is StrongBuild on the strength of community with cooperatives

By now, you’ve probably seen on our site here that we’re a worker cooperative, which is a special kind of an organization. When you think about starting a business or organization, you have a number of different choices in what kind of form that an organization might take – and we chose cooperative for some solid reasons.

Importantly, we chose to build a cooperative to build on the strength of community. Co-ops, as organizations, are designed to build on the strength of community – they come out of communities, they meet community needs, and they do so through cooperative methods. You can’t build a co-op without a strong community.

Cooperatives are also strong organizations by design. When we draw what a co-op looks like – like the diagram above – we draw it in a triangle, because triangles are the strongest geometric shape. The strength of communities make co-ops the strongest kinds of organizations, too.

Here, I want to take you through the basic structure of a cooperative, and introduce you to the four main kinds of cooperatives. That way, you can learn about the different kinds of co-ops, and you can think about how you can build on the strength of community in your social enterprise. Read More