This section outlines some of the benefits identified with co-operative businesses – benefits to the business or organisation, employees, members, the wider community and the UK economy.
The co-operative advantage
Being a co-operative can bring many benefits – known as the co-operative advantage. Depending on how your business operates, the co-operative advantage might include:
- Engaged, fulfilled, staff may have higher productivity levels, improve innovation and reduce absenteeism
- Engaged customers and suppliers might be more loyal to you than your competitors
Co-operatives are often rooted in their local community, providing a service that the community otherwise would not have, providing employment to local people, maintaining wage levels and keeping money in the local economy.
The co-operative economy
Each year Co-operatives UK publishes The co-operative economy report.
The latest report shows that membership levels of co-operatives are now at record levels – almost a quarter of the UK's population are now members of a co-operative. This also means the number of co-op members continues to outstrip the number of shareholders in the UK. The annual contribution of co-operatives is worth £34.1bn to the UK economy. Watch a short video summarising the report, below, or read The co-operative economy report in full.