What is a Co-op?
Defined here by the Manitoba Co-operative Association; “A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.”
Peg City Car Co-op is a service which shares the cost and benefit of automobiles. Our members – the users and supporters of the service – are its owners. They decide democratically on its character and operation by voting at the Annual General Meeting. Members also have the opportunity to participate in governance of the organization by way of elections to the working volunteer board of directors, or by volunteering on one of many committees.
Find out more about how Co-ops differ from other business models.
The Co-operative Model
The users of the Co-op’s services are its owners, and each one has a say in the way it’s governed. In a co-op, a member is not simply a client whose only control of business is paying for its service. Peg City Car Co-op and all co-op Members have a real stake in the future of their co-operatives. It’s not just about how much money they invest.
A great informational resource on starting, governing and getting active in Co-operatives is the Canadian Co-operative Association‘s website. Even better, the Manitoba Co-operatives Association has a direct resource for starting Co-ops in Manitoba.
For more information on how Co-operatives make a social and economic impact in Canada, please see the Co-operative Difference Research Hub.
The Seven Cooperative Principles
All cooperatives share a set of principles established by the International Cooperative Alliance.
- Voluntary and Open Membership
- Democratic Member Control
- Member Economic Participation
- Autonomy and Independence
- Education, Training and Information
- Co-operation Among Cooperatives
- Concern for Community
The International Year of Co-operatives
The United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives. As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon puts it.
“Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.”
The International Year of Cooperatives is intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development.