Co-operate & flourish

By Ranjan K Baruah

A cooperative is “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”.
Cooperatives may include non-profit community organisations, businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services (a consumer cooperative), organisations managed by the people who work there (worker cooperatives), organisations managed by the people to whom they provide accommodation (housing cooperatives), hybrids such as workers’ cooperatives that are also consumer cooperatives or credit unions, multi-stakeholder cooperatives such as those that bring together civil society and local actors to deliver community needs, second and third-tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives.
According to a research, in 2012 approximately one billion people in 96 countries had become members of at least one cooperative. One dictionary defines a cooperative as “a jointly owned enterprise engaging in the production or distribution of goods or supplying of services, operated by its members for their mutual benefit, typically organised by consumers or farmers”.
Cooperative businesses are typically more economically resilient than many other forms of enterprises. Cooperatives frequently have social goals which they aim to accomplish by investing a proportion of trading profits back in their communities.
Co-operatives also foster external equality. As they are community-based, they are committed to the sustainable development of their communities — environmentally, socially and economically. This commitment can be seen in their support for community activities, local sourcing of supplies to benefit the local economy and in decision-making that considers the impact on their communities.
Students may take up courses like MBA in Cooperative Management or other diploma and certificate courses. Specialisations may be workers cooperatives, consumers’ cooperative, etc. Students from any stream may join post graduate diploma or management courses. One may get jobs in agricultural cooperatives, cooperative banks, housing cooperatives etc. Aspirants may become consultants and start their own consultancy services. We shall write more in our next edition.


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Scholarship from Government of Brazil: The Government of Brazil is offering full scholarships to Indian students under the Brazilian Exchange Program for Undergraduates Students (PEC-G) for the year 2019. The scholarships are being offered to promote the academic training and qualification to foreign students through free placement in undergraduate courses of Brazilian Higher Education Institution. Students may register and apply before August 31.

(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor, skill trainer, and employability coach cum academic consultant and can be reach at 8473943734 or [email protected])

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