Conclusion to the Exhibit
- A Bit More about Co-operatives
- Are There Different Types of Co-operatives?
- Are Co-ops of Any Significance?
- The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
- Partners and Sponsors
A Bit More about Co-operatives
What is a co-operative?
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.
How are co-operatives different?
Co-operatives are enterprises that put people at the centre of their business, not capital. Co-operatives are business enterprises and can be defined in terms of three basic interests: ownership, control, and beneficiary. Only in the co-operative enterprise are all three interests vested directly in the hands of the user.
Are There Different Types of Co-operatives?
The co-operative model of enterprise can be applied to any business activity. Co-ops exist in traditional economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, consumer and financial services, housing, and production. But co-operative activity also spans a large number of other sectors and activities including car-sharing, child-care, health and social care, funeral, orchestras, schools, sports, tourism, utilities (electricity, water, gas), and transport (taxis, buses).
Are Co-ops of Any Significance?
The co-operative movement brings together more than 800 million people around the world. The United Nations estimated in 1994 that the livelihood of nearly 3 billion people, or half of the world’s population, was made secure by co-operative enterprises. These enterprises continue to play significant economic and social roles in their communities.
Co-operatives provide 100 million jobs worldwide, 20 percent more than multinational enterprises.
In 2008, the world’s 300 largest co-operatives alone were responsible for an aggregate turnover of US$1.1 trillion. That is about the size of Canada’s entire economy.
|Country||People in Co-ops|
|Canada||1 in 3 people|
|Honduras||1 in 3 people|
|Kenya||1 in 5 people|
|Norway||1 in 3 people|
|United Kingdom||9.8 million|
|United States||1 in 4 people|
The United Nations has proclaimed 2012 the Year of Co-operatives.
The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Expanding Your Horizons
Why study co-operatives?
While co-operatives and credit unions are significant and important economic enterprises throughout Canada and around the world, they are often not well understood. The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives was established to examine the role and operation of co-operatives, to publish that research, and to share it by developing and teaching university courses. We welcome scholars from every field of study to create a truly interdisciplinary base for sharing insights into the role and impact of co-operative organizations.
In 2010, the centre celebrated its 25th year of research excellence and success! [top]
Partners and Sponsors
We Couldn’t Have Done It Alone
In the true spirit of co-operation, this exhibition is the product of the combined efforts of many people, organizations, and communities. While it is impossible to list everyone, it is important to recognize the valuable contributions from the following:
- John G. Diefenbaker Canada Centre
- Community-University Institute for Social Research, University of Saskatchewan
- Winnipeg Inner-City Research Alliance, University of Winnipeg
- Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg
- Community Economic and Social Development, Algoma University
We would also like to acknowledge the generous support provided by the following sponsors:
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
- University of Saskatchewan
- Knowledge Impact in Society project, University of Saskatchewan
- Saskatchewan Co-operative Association
- The Co-operators Group
- Federated Co-operatives Ltd.
- Concentra Financial
- Enterprise Saskatchewan
- Cooperative Promotions Board, Government of Manitoba
Finally … This exhibition is about the hopes and dreams of people and their communities. We are enormously grateful for the time, effort, and patience of all those who shared their stories with us. It was a privilege to be entrusted with bringing them to you. [top]