Considering cooperation: a guide for new cooperative development

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This publication reviews the key elements needed for successful formation and development of new cooperative businesses. Six phases of cooperative formation are described:

  1. identifying the opportunity
  2. building consensus on the potential for a cooperative
  3. developing trust among potential members
  4. securing member commitment
  5. involving other stakeholders
  6. starting up the cooperative enterprise

Potential obstacles are presented for each of these phases and common causes for new cooperative failures are reviewed.

Key ingredients for successful cooperative start-up are discussed. These include:

  • a joint recognition of a common economic problem by the potential members and initial leaders;
  • a cooperative solution which will be more effective at providing the desired service than the prospective members could achieve individually.

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