So you want to start a cooperative?
Earthworker aims to support a thriving cooperative economy and social sector across the country and beyond. Earthworker Energy is our first worker-cooperative, and will be the model for future co-operatives.
As each Earthworker cooperative grows, we will look to start and support others, empowering communities everywhere. We are already in discussion and cooperation with a budding IT cooperative, brewing cooperative and hemp-fibre cooperative.
If you are involved in, or interested in starting a cooperative, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us by clicking here!
Here are a few useful resources to help get you started:
- Australia’s own comprehensive coop start up manual
- Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals– the peak body for Australian Cooperatives with lots of information and links.
- The Worker Cooperative Toolbox– a great guide to starting a cooperative business.
- Steps to Starting a Worker Coop – another fantastic guide
- The Co-op Shop is a website for the sharing of resources and networking of people setting up cooperatives in Australia
- A Technology Freelancer’s Guide to Starting a Worker Cooperative
- A manual from Scotland targeted for social entrepreneurship
- A good summary article about how to start a worker co-op from Shareable.net
- Article: Sustainable Economic Democracy: Worker Cooperatives for the 21st Century
Worldwide more than 1 billion people are members of cooperatives. Cooperatives provide 100 million jobs worldwide, 20% more than multinational enterprises. Here are a few to get you started:
- Mondragon Corporation, a world leader in the co-operative movement, is the largest business group in the Basque Country and the seventh largest in Spain
- The Greenworker Cooperative is operating in in the South Bronx in the USA to help set up worker owned cooperatives.
- Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio in the USA.
- For more info, see the the International Cooperative Alliance webpage