What is a Corporate Cooperative?
what is a corporate cooperative and why that label?
We use the label "Corporate Cooperative" to describe a very specific kind of business structure whose purpose is to aggregate a number of small and medium sized private businesses into one collective public entity (a corporation), in order to provide the individual businesses with the increased health, viability and liquidity that a larger, public organization can achieve. This corporate structure is specifically characterized by its collaborative approach to the management of the whole enterprise, thus the "cooperatives" label.
The International Co-operative Alliance defines a cooperative as "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise." In many ways that is a good, but loose description of a corporate cooperative.
However, a corporate cooperative differs in the legal structure and therefore is not a cooperative in that traditional sense. That is why we are calling it a "corporate cooperative" to distinguish it from both generic corporations and generic cooperatives, and this term is used to define a new entity which uses old structures in a new manner.
To get a good feel for what a corporate cooperative is, where it came from and what it can be used for, see the following video interview of Michael Sauvante, the creator of the corporate cooperative concept.
Corporate Cooperatives - Part II