Cooperatives as Business Models of the Future - When the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) concluded last week, some of the overwhelming success stories highlighted at a two-day interactive session came both from developing and developed countries,...
Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Cooperative Alliance...
In Brazil, Green said, a clearly defined government policy aimed at helping rural people, through cooperative businesses, has seen a massive reduction in poverty in the rural areas of the sprawling South American nation.
In Kenya, cooperatives account for nearly half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while in Rwanda the cooperative economy has gone from zero to eight percent of GDP over the last 10 years.
The world’s largest 300 cooperatives, primarily in the insurance and food and agriculture sectors, generated revenues of 1.6 trillion dollars and employed nearly 100 million people worldwide.
Asked if the cooperative model of enterprise may well be one of the answers to the global economic crisis, Green told IPS, “Without doubt the cooperative business model offers a proven solution to this global economic crisis we are mired in.”
In the UK, she said, schools have become one of the fastest-growing parts of the cooperative economy.
“Renewable energy cooperatives have been springing up all over the globe, and of course media is another area which benefits from the cooperative model because it ensures independent journalism remains viable,” she noted.