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Home > Your Cooperative > Seven Cooperative Principles

Seven Cooperative Principles

All Cooperatives Function with these Seven Guiding Principles:

1. Voluntary and Open Membership:

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership. 

2. Democratic Member Control:

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their member-owners, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

3. Member-Owners' Economic Participation:

Member-owners contribute equitable to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.

4. Autonomy and Independence:

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their member-owners.

5. Education, Training, and Information:

Cooperatives provide education and training for their member-owners, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives:

Cooperatives serve their member-owners most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.

7. Concern for Community:

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.