The case for co-ops: how entrepreneurship and mutuality can coexist

David Simmons – Business New Australia – 10 July 2018

Without realising, most of us are already part of a co-op. Whether it be a credit union, a mutual health fund, or one of the automotive associations, co-ops hover on the periphery of the Australian business landscape just out of sight.

The unusual structure of the co-op, being neither private or public companies (utilising membership models instead of shareholdings), has pushed the structure out of popular use and reserved commonly for farming co-ops and workers unions.

However, with the business landscape in Australia dramatically changing since the last financial crisis, cooperative models are becoming more attractive as time goes by.

Public dissatisfaction with large corporations that exist purely to profit off employee labour and hardly reinvest capital back into the communities they exploit is just one major aspect of the reignition of co-operative models overseas and in Australia.

This is especially the case in a state like South Australia. Over the last few years, most major Australian and international corporations have fled the state in favour of lower-cost countries. This has left a significant scar on the state’s business landscape, impacting small businesses, leaving many without jobs, and draining the state’s economy. Read more