What is a Co-op?

What is a co-operative …. and why you should join this one.

A co-operative is a proper business. It is worth stating again. A co-operative is a proper business.

In launching the3rdimagazine as a co-operative I have been surprised at the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds the co-operative business model. So while I generally dislike defining things in terms of what they are not, it is worth dispelling a few myths.

– co-operatives are not charities
– co-operatives are not social enterprises
– co-operatives are not just supermarkets or undertakers

From the outside a co-operative looks like any other business. it is what’s on the inside that makes the difference!

  • Co-operatives are OWNED by their members and exist to serve their members.
  • The members are the owners, each having an equal say in how the business operates.
  • As well as getting the products and services they need members help shape the decisions that the co-operative takes.
  • Co-operatives aim to trade profitably – they create abundance!
  • Co-operatives share rewards amongst their members rather than rewarding outside investors.
  • Co-operatives are not beholden to anybody, whether that is governments, investors or another business.
  • Co-operatives collaborate with each other and have a commitment to the community they serve.
  • Across the UK co-operatives are owned by 11 million people – and this number is growing!
  • There are 4,800 independent co-operatives working in all parts of the economy – from healthcare to wind farms, from football clubs to web design companies.

So I hope that it is now clear why we chose this model for the3rdi magazine limited.

  • the3rdi magazine is a co-operative, member owned enterprise
  • it exists to serve the community of women
  • we collaborate with women across all sectors of the business community
  • we are beholden to no-one; content being drawn from the community
  • we are independent, inspiring and informative
  • membership is the lifeblood: you own the business.  Together we develop the programmes to support women leaders, promote issues of women’s confidence and self-esteem and develop positive networking within the community
  • we believe that everyone who is involved in a business should have a say in how the business develops and the co-operative business model ensures that everyone has an equal say
  • we believe that any abundance that this enterprise creates should not go to anonymous investors but should be shared amongst the members.

So now you know!

The3rdimagazine is an independent co-operative business that I am proud to have founded and that welcomes you as a member.

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