The 7 cooperative principles          

the first time we learnt about the 7 Cooerpative Principles was during a 3 day workshop in Vancouver called COOPERATE NOW - an interactive business skills bootcamp for entrepreneurs or community members interested in building a co-op enterprise.

The Workshop was instrumental in giving us the framework to operate and further develop the project. 

To this day, the 7 principles provide us with a valuable guidance in our every day decisions making.


  1. Voluntary, Open Ownership
    Open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. You may shop, you may join, and you may leave the co-op at any time.

  2. Democratic Owner Control One owner, one vote.

  3. Owner Economic Participation
    Owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. The economic benefits of a cooperative operation are returned to the Owners, reinvested in the co-op, or used to provide Owner services. You control the capital.

  4. Autonomy And Independence
    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their Owners. Together, you are autonomous.

  5. Education, Training And Information
    Cooperatives provide education and training for Owners so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation. You can develop yourself into the consumer you want to be.

  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
    Cooperatives serve their Owners most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures. You are more successful when you cooperate with others who know how to cooperate.

  7. Concern For The Community
    While focusing on Owner needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their Owners. You can do something for the community even as you keep succeeding.

For More Resources on Co-op & Co-ops development check out the BC Cooperative Association here  & Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada here.