Consumer Co-operatives are Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) that are owned and democratically operated by consumers – the people who use or purchase from the enterprise, in accordance with the Statement on the Co-operative Identity.
They provide essential services or products that most individuals require or ‘consume’ and can be categorized accordingly.
View some types and some examples of consumer co-operatives >>
A consumer co-op focuses on meeting the needs of its members and operates within the market system as a form of mutual aid. Some key principles of consumer co-operatives are member control and participation. These members meet periodically to develop policies/ by-laws that decide how the co-operative will operate, although in larger consumer co-ops much of the decision-making is done through the democratically elected board of directors who typically delegate to management.
Most often, Consumer Co-ops operate in 1 of 3 different ways:
- As buying clubs where products and/or services are acquired only when the members place an order
- As service providers where members order the service i.e. internet, cable television, water or natural gas
- As retail stores where members (and non-members) come in to shop
CWCF’s JEDI Business Conversion Project seeks to empower business owners and potential owners from equity-denied groups through the Social Purpose Organization (SPO) model.
For more information on this project:
JEDI Business Conversion Project
How CWCF is building on the work of the legacy leadership lab
What is a Social Purpose Organization?
What are some examples of business conversions/social acquisitions?
How does a business conversion work?