Briefing Note: Working with Co-operatives for Poverty Reduction

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Why work with co-operatives?
Co-operatives can be significant economic players that contribute to sustained economic growth: the Co-operative Bank of  Kenya reported a turnover of over £900 million in 2008-9 and Amul, an Indian dairy co-operative, had a turnover of £750 million. Globally co-operatives create jobs for over 100 million people and help make markets work better for the poor by turning marginal informal sector activities into viable livelihoods, securing access to the skills and resources farmers need to process, market and develop raw materials into more profitable products and expanding access to financial services. A recent IMF study found that co-operative banks are more stable than commercial banks.

Co-operatives provide utilities such as electricity, serving 28 million people in Bangladesh alone. They can bring benefits to poor people by helping their views be heard and offering first hand experience of democratic processes. They have also supported peace building initiatives in countries such as Bosnia and Rwanda.



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