CSB Resources and Information

About Cooperatives and Collectives

A Collective is a group of people who work together to achieve a common objective.  A Cooperative is an entity which is owned and managed by its members.  Both concepts share an emphasis on democratic, non-hierarchical, intentional participation.

Student Businesses were founded based on Cooperative Principles and have existed according to those ideals.  The current meaning of cooperative implies equity member ownership.

Cooperative Principles

The cooperative movement as it is understood today was created in Rochdale, England in 1844 by 28 factory workers in response to unfair working conditions. They utilized these principles to guide their self-managed businesses and create the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society.

Voluntary and Open Membership

Membership in the student businesses is voluntary for those with the necessary skills and who are willing to accept the responsibilities outline by the handbook including commitment to both participatory decision making and financial accountability.

Membership is open without discrimination based on gender, race, and sexual orientation along with social, cultural, political or religious thought. 

Democratic Member Control

Members have equal rights of voting. “One member, one vote”

Members Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to and democratically control the capital of their cooperative.

Autonomy and Independence

Business run as autonomously as possible while abiding by university policies they have to follow.

Education, Training and Information

All members are trained and education in order for them to contribute effectively to their business.

Cooperation among cooperatives

The seven businesses work together as seamlessly as possible in order to help each other succeed.

Concern for Community

Businesses work for sustainable development in their community through policies agreed upon amongst members.

For more information on Cooperatives, see our Cooperative Resources page.