Starting a Co-op
One of the reasons that CDS was founded in 1985 was to provide trusted assistance to groups seeking to start new co-ops. Today we do that work primarily in the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
The cooperative form of business is a unique model that has been extensively used all over the world to help groups of people obtain things that would otherwise not be available to them, and to do so in a fair and equitable way. It is the only major business model that is associated with a specific set of principles and values. Properly understood, these principles provide key insights about how to powerfully and sustainably use the cooperative business model.
Not surprisingly, there can be confusion about how a group can best go about the process of starting a co-op. A core competency for CDS is our ability to help a group see the various stages involved in cooperative development, and to organize their work so that they can use best practices to avoid unnecessary challenges and detours.