The economic activity of the 30,000 cooperatives in the U.S. contributes an estimated $154 billion to the nation’s total income. The co-ops have helped to create over 2.1 million jobs, with an impact on wages and salaries of almost $75 billion (Deller et al 2009). WAGES in Oakland CA finds that after owning the house cleaning co-op the worker-owners’ median income increased to over $40,000 (before the co-op the Latina owners had a median income of $24,000). Ownership in the co-op has put their income higher than the national average of $38,000 for Latinos/as.
Cooperatives overcome the historic barriers to development in the ways they aggregate people, resources, and capital (Ziewacz 1994). Of 162 non-agricultural cooperatives in one study, 44% of the respondents said they could not have opened their business had it not been organized as a cooperative (Bhuyan et al 1998).
In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed, in its resolution 47/90 of 16 December 1992, the International Day of Cooperatives to be celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July.
The aim of this International Day is to:
Increase awareness on cooperatives;
Highlight the complementarily of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement;
Underscore the contribution of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations;
Strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels.
The co-operative movement presents a unique combination of global reach and needs-based business conduct. It plays an important role in poverty reduction by widening ownership and by giving people a voice, both inside their organizations and in society as a whole.
Cooperative businesses stabilize communities because they are community-based business anchors; and distribute, recycle, and multiply local expertise and capital within a community. They enable their owners to generate income, and jobs; accumulate assets; provide affordable, quality goods and services; develop human & social capital.
Source: un.org | wagescooperatives.org | geo.coop
In 2023 International Day of Cooperatives in USA falls on July 1.