Benefits of cooperative membership exceed prioritized broadband access and extend past U.S. borders. A new report by the International Cooperative Research Group, the research arm of the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, reveals members of cooperatives in countries spanning four continents are more likely to have above-average incomes, a better sense of overall well-being, and improved access to social support systems.
This report shows co-ops improve the quality of people’s lives in communities around the world. They provide unique economic opportunities for the members they serve. Cooperatives help members increase their prosperity directly through access to credit and higher earnings, and indirectly by helping to provide access to financial education, mentors and training. The combined result is that members are better prepared to serve as effective business owners and leaders in their communities.
The report also said cooperatives offer a socially conscious business model, inherently concerned with community well-being. This translates to cooperative members having stronger overall trust in their communities.
The data shows valued cooperative benefits extend beyond the impacts on income and include social and community advancements.