Why do people join co-operatives?

The co-operative structure enables people to achieve social and economic goals that are not possible working alone.

Often a number of people share the same aspirations, for example affordable housing, energy generation, reliable communications, a market for their product, a desire to save their jobs when a business is facing closure.

The co-operative structure enables sharing the effort with others of like mind, and gives members equality in determining the ways in which the goal is achieved.

If a member needs a product or service, they will have the power to determine the characteristics of it, and group buying gives them the capital and quantities to increase buying power and obtain it at a lower cost.

Members of an employee-owned co-operative can be both the boss and worker at the same time. They can partake in determining their wages and benefit entitlements, as well as help to guide the business and share in its profits.

Rural residents join co-operatives to reduce costs, or enhance their lifestyles by accessing services that they would otherwise be unable to attract, be it health care, communications, energy or child care; or to collectively obtain a greater return for their products.