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Topic Videos

Co-operative businesses

AS, A-Level, IB, BTEC National
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 27 Nov 2019

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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