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Saturday, October 18th, 2014

6 Examples of Global Cooperative Economic Models Black Communities Should Emulate

Cooperatives or ‘co-ops’ are businesses or organizations controlled by the communities in which they reside, or by the workers who operate them. There are many types of co-ops to address a host of community needs and in general their principles are the same: open membership, democratic control, economic participation, education, autonomy and community concern.

Across the board cooperatives, have been shown to increase equity, economy and independence in communities that are overlooked, or even actively oppressed by the dominant culture. Here’s a look at six global co-operative models that Black communities can emulate to help bring more opportunities for improving the health, economic stability and overall independence:

 

Cooperative Pharmacy in the UK.

The Co-operative Estates is the custodian of nearly 8,000 properties across the U.K.

Retail Co-ops

Retail co-ops, like The Co-operative Estates in Europe, offer benefits such as special discounts and refunds on purchases. These benefits are often funded by a percentage of the profits, which are then passed on to members.

Members also participate in the governance by electing board members and executives of the retail co-ops where they shop. This form of democratic, community-centered control encourages affordable pricing of goods, and provides community-based alternatives to corporate conglomerates.

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Comments

  1. All good models, but most notably the Food co-op and Child Care co-op are needed in urban communities, STAT!

  2. A child care co op does sound good. It could be joined in conjunction with a form of marriage incentive based co op. Where we can offer Black couples incentives to wed and remain married. It will be special because it will COMBINE all of the former co ops and will offer food, housing, electricity, clothing, fabrics (paper towels, toiletries, etc.) and education (not all commodities are listed) as incentive. The members who participate in the co op also at the some time work for the co op, producing the aforementioned commodities. They will have ownership in the various companies and their compensation will be the very supplies (electricity, diapers, vegetables, towels, etc.) they produce. Cash is not paid, only the necessary products that cover every necessity for the purposes of life, health, child care, etc. This is the marriage (all inclusive) co op.

  3. Brotha Jamaal Amazing perspective within an excellent idea. Very rarely does that duo come well packaged together. Marriage itself is a business transaction, so I especially like the 'incentives' given for not only getting married, but staying married. Its the equivalent of of engaging in profitable business and the 'government' having an initiative to compensate favorably those who bring start-up businesses to their region. I think it would be cool to work on hashing out the logistics of how this plan would work itself out in real time, if you are open to bringing your ideas to the table? Let me know!

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