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2013 03 13 pfc - co-ops 101


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2013 03 13 pfc - co-ops 101

  1. 1. NW Co-op Development CenterCo-ops 101Peoples Food Co-opMar. 13th, 2013Eric Bowman, Cooperative Development Specialisteric@nwcdc.coop1063 S Capitol Way # 211Olympia, WA 98501360.943.4241
  2. 2. Presentation: Co-ops 1011. Intro2. Overview and History3. Co-op Economy and Models4. Development Process5. Resources6. Q&A
  3. 3. NWCDCThe Centera 501(c)3 nonprofit which provides development servicesfor new and existing co-opsOur missionto foster community economic development through theco-op business modelWe’rea team of co-op developers with skills specific to start-upand organizational business development
  4. 4. Co-ops 101Investor owned:Sole proprietor:Co-ops are member:◦ Owned◦ Controlled◦ Benefited
  5. 5. Corporate Structure
  6. 6. Co-op RoleU.S. Facts:– 250 purchasing co-ops procure for 50,000 businesses– 3,000 farmer co-ops market 30% of farmers’ products– 8,000 housing co-ops provide 1 m homes– 7,500 credit unions provide services to 90 m members– 1,000 rural electrics operate ½ the nation’s distribution– 29,000 co-ops serve 43% of the populationTop 100 co-ops’ 2010 revenues = $194 Billion!
  7. 7. Internationally Recognized Principles1. Voluntary and Open Membership2. Democratic Member Control3. Member Economic Participation4. Autonomy and Independence5. Education, Training and Information6. Co-operation among Co-operatives7. Concern for Community
  8. 8. OwnershipMember-Owners can be– Consumers– Producers/Farmers– Workers– Other Businesses
  9. 9. DistributionismConsumer◦ Credit Unions◦ Housing◦ Retail (e.g. food co-ops)◦ Farm SupplyTwo SchoolsProducer◦ Worker◦ Farmer◦ Artisan
  10. 10. Distributionism cont.Another School…Solidarity or Multi-Stakeholder◦ Weaver Street Market owners:◦ Workers◦ Consumers◦ Idaho’s Bounty Co-op owners:◦ Producers◦ Consumers
  11. 11. Why Cooperate?…to access resources not individually achievable
  12. 12. Why form an entity?Creating:• Something bigger and beyond oneself• Economy of scale• Solid foundation for growth• Legitimacy• Commitment• Limited liability• Formal structure to work together
  13. 13. When not to form…• Too small to cover admin• Dependant on volunteer and/or grant• Less than 3 members• Don’t need structure• No compelling economic need
  14. 14. Estimated Timeline• 6 to 12 months (or more for each):1. Organizing2. Planning3. Implementation• Total of 1 ½ to 3 years
  15. 15. Co-op Development Stages• Identify a need a co-op couldmeet• Form Steering Committee• Research Feasibility• Review Findings (Go/No Go)• Membership Drive• Planning and Financing• Begin Operations (Go/No Go)Project LifecycleProject Lifecycle
  16. 16. Co-op Development Stages• Identify a need a co-op couldmeet• Form Steering Committee• Research Feasibility• Review Findings (Go/No Go)• Membership Drive• Planning and Financing• Begin Operations (Go/No Go)How We Assist• Facilitate identifying mission andgoals• Train founding Board members• Market and feasibility research• Assist with organizing• Professional, 3rdparty perspective• General business consultingProject LifecycleProject Lifecycle
  17. 17. Organizing• Held “go or no go” votes at every meeting
  18. 18. Organizing• Form committee– A “proto board”– May or may not be potential members– Role is:• Advisory• Exploratory• Planning• Networking• Visionary• Fundraising
  19. 19. How?- Watershine, OPMA
  20. 20. How?“…hold about 500 meetings.”- Watershine, OPMA
  21. 21. Planning & Feasibility• Studying:– Technical• Location, management, etc.– Economic/financial• Projections on profit and loss, cash flow, start up– Market• Competition, sales, etc.
  22. 22. Feasibility• More risk = more complex research• Industry specific– e.g. food co-ops: market analysis• Who wants it?– Potential members may– Lenders– Member lenders/investors
  23. 23. What you’re not:
  24. 24. What you are:…is spending your neighbor’s money!
  25. 25. Membership Drive Phases1. Highly motivated early adopters2. Friends, family and fools are super easy3. Tap out networks4. Community organizing and it’s uphill– It’s P.R., outreach, communications, etc.– Need a plan– “Political campaign without an election”
  26. 26. Resources1. How to Start a Food Co-op; CGIN2. How to Start a Cooperative; USDA3. The Worker Cooperative Toolbox; NCDF• Resources/toolboxes– Food Co-op Initiative– US Federation of Worker Co-ops• Magazines– Cooperative Grocer– The Cooperator; Co-op and Condo monthly
  27. 27. Thank You!Eric Bowmaneric@nwcdc.coopNorthwest Cooperative Development Center1063 Capitol Way S # 211Olympia, WA 98501360.943.4241 | www.nwcdc.coopFostering community economic development through thecooperative business model