About Our Collaborate CoOp
Collaborate Coop was formed as a for profit business organization in 2014 and is a hybrid 21st century business model. There are CoOp businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services, and these are known as a "consumer cooperative." Then you have organizations that are managed by the people who work there and these are knows as "worker cooperatives." However, Collaborate CoOp is a hybrid cooperative, such that the Members are the workers, as well as, the consumers of the products produced. We are a group of like-minded people who want to make a positive difference in each other's lives.
About Cooperatives In General
Cooperatives got their start in 1844 with the Rochdale pioneers. Since then, cooperatives have changed business and economies worldwide. The global rise of cooperatives is partially due to the work of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). The ICA was formed in 1895. Worldwide, Cooperatives employ more than 250 million people. The top 300 Cooperative Associations are estimated to be worth in excess of $2 Trillion USD.
Cooperative Associations, like ours, are founded on a social democracy where each Share Member gets one Share on Vote! Cooperatives are owned by their Share Members. The Share Members elect a Board of Directors from the Share Members who oversee operations. Many Cooperatives, like ours, use a management company to conduct day-to-day operations, since the members are busy running their own businesses.
There are many types of cooperatives, ours in a hybrid Cooperative called Producer/Consumer Cooperative Association. Usually our Producers are the Share Members, who pay a small Share Fee, and Consumers join the Cooperative for free as Basic Members. The Share Fee is how the Cooperative creates services for its members.
When Cooperatives earn a profit, it is paid pro-rata according to the Share Member’s patronage (use and purchases) in the Cooperative. This is called a Patronage Refund. You must be a Share Member, have paid a Share Fee, and earned Patronage Credits (Points) to earn a Patronage Refund. Patronage Refunds are often paid monthly and/or annually. The Share Fee is never paid as part of a Patronage Refund. Patronage Refunds are paid after the Cooperative covers its cost of operations and management fees.