How to start a Co-op
The situation is different from country to country. The basis is always specific legislation on social solidarity economy or co-operatives. But you have to answer several simple questions that can help you to develop a primary idea for setting up your co-operative.
Contact a support organisation initially
Setting up a community co-operative can be daunting, but chanc-es are that there are experienced organisations out there ready to help , so contact them first to find out what help is available. (See also TIP 2).
Form a working group/committee
A committee is required to take on the responsibility of managing and leading your community group to set up your community co-op.
Consider your vision and how best to explain what you are trying to do
Your committee will need to have clear aims and objectives from the outset and set out roles and responsibilites.
Identify and consult with your community
By consulting with the immediate community and surrounding area, you will be able to gauge the level of support there is for the project. It will also help you to establish whether the com-munity members are willing to invest in the project, and if they are, how much. By consulting with the wider community, you are creating the opportunity to get feedback on your ideas and the inclusion of new ones not yet considered. It will also give you the opportunity to identify people with relevant skills to get involved. Questionnaires and public meetings are good ways to consult with your community, and remember to share your results with everyone.
Visit other enterprises to get inspiration
Talk to people who have already gone through the process, and learn from them about what – and what not – to do.Review original plans and determine whether to proceed