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Cooperatives (also called co-ops) are a form of business ownership that is practiced all over the world. The most common types of cooperatives are worker-owned and consumer-owned. Most cooperatives adhere to seven principles:
  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Co-operation among Co-operatives
  • Concern for Community
Co-ops include: Agricultural: farms, feed suppliers, and seed banks. Computer and Internet: ISPs, web hosting, and computer design collectives Energy: utility companies and power providers Financial: banks, credit unions, investors, insurers, and mortgage brokers Food Cooperatives: health-food stores and bulk food sharing programs Housing: housing cooperatives and intentional communities. Visual Arts: groups of artists, both living and working together.
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