Build A Better World: Start a Co-operative Business!

Last Updated: June 14, 2017

It's a great time to consider a cooperative model for your business! The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives.

What's a co-operative?


  • They're owned by the people who use them most: the shoppers at a grocery store, the workers at a construction site, the residents of a building.
  • They exist to meet the needs of their member-owners.
  • Member-owners make all operating decisions of the co-op, based on a one-member : one-vote structure.
  • Profit is given to member-owners based on how often they use the co-op.
  • All co-operatives operate according to seven common principles.

Co-operatives are for-profit businesses, but financial benefits are not the only incentives for starting or joining one. They also promote community, education, independence, and social responsibility. The British Columbia Co-operative Association offers a great guide for starting your own BC co-op. It includes a glossary, FAQ, and information about co-operative business plans.

Want to learn more?