According to the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), a co-operative is an autonomous association of persons that are voluntarily united to meet economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Based around values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity, co-operatives represent a truly democratic business model.
The significance of co-operatives is that they are community-focused businesses that balance the needs of society, the environment, and the economy. Operating as legally incorporated businesses, The Ontario Co-operative Association reports that on top of being a trusted place to do business, twice as many co-operative businesses remain in operation after ten years than conventional business types.
The Niagara Region has an established co-operative sector, however knowledge and an understanding of co-operatives varies throughout the twelve municipalities. In order to help this sector grow, the first step is to generate awareness for our existing co-operatives and begin educating our communities on how they help to provide jobs, security, and foster community development.
For more information on Niagara Co-op Network, visit their Facebook page:
Published By: Niagara Co-op Network