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Student Videos

Co-operative businesses

AS, A Level, IB, BTEC Level 3
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

In this short topic video we look at the growing number of businesses and organisations that operate as member-owned and run co-operatives.

Co-operative businesses


Co-ops are owned and run by their members, who can be customers, employees or groups of businesses.

Co-operative businesses are run on principles of shared ownership, shared voice & shared profits.

Examples of co-operatives:

  • The supermarkets-to-funerals Co-op Group is the biggest, followed by the John Lewis Partnership (including Waitrose)
  • Farmers’ co-ops are also popular in the UK – a good example is ARLA foods
  • Other co-ops include community pubs, supporter-run football clubs and many foster care and local childcare providers.
  • Credit unions are becoming more popular in the UK

Credit unions

  • Credit unions are a loans and savings co-operative
  • In the UK, credit unions are regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • Members normally have a 'common bond' to make them eligible for membership such as place of location, membership of a church
  • There are over 110 million members of credit unions in the USA

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