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Cooperatives and Credit Unions

Because of ideological or economies of scale reasons, the organisational structure of a productive viable enterprise does not always follow the individualistic model of private enterprise. This is why we have productive or marketing cooperatives as well as savings cooperatives and credit unions.This page lists and rates electronic resources related to cooperatives and credit unions.

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Last updated February 27th 2012

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Sites are reviewed individually and rated mostly according to content depth and value added, while also considering ease of navigation and speed of loading. For each category best resources are listed first.

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Canadian Co-operative Association
The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) is a national association for co-operatives in Canada, representing more than nine million co-operative and credit union members from over 2,000 organizations. CCA's mission is to promote and develop the co-operative model in Canada and abroad and to unite them around a common co-operative identity, a common sense of purpose, and a common voice to government. Excellent and very rich site. Do not miss the Tools and Guides for different types of co-ops.

University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
The UWCC's mission is to study and promote cooperative action as a means of meeting the economic and social needs of people. The Center works in rural and urban settings in the United States and internationally. It develops, promotes, and coordinates educational programs, technical assistance and research on the cooperative form of business. Excellent site which provides a lot of information. I found the section on coop theory and history very interesting. Do not miss the start up resources and the Coops 101 guide.

ILO's Cooperative Branch
When the International Labour Organisation was created, promotion of social justice and improvement of living conditions were amongst their main objectives. One of the most important means by which these might be achieved was through freedom of association which also included the establishment of cooperatives and similar self-help organizations.The web site of the ILO's Cooperative Branch presents in detail their programme for the promotion of cooperatives. Excellent site. Do not miss the Resource guide on cooperatives.

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Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives(COPAC)
COPAC is a partnership between representatives of the cooperative movement together with farmers' and workers' organizations, and the United Nations and its agencies. Its objectives are to promote and coordinate sustainable cooperative development through policy dialogues, technical cooperation and information, and concrete collaborative activities. Very rich and excellent site. Do not miss the sections on Publications and on Policy and Legislation.

International Co-operative Alliance
The International Co-operative Alliance is an independent, non-governmental association which unites, represents and serves co-operatives worldwide. ICA helps to build strong, viable co-operatives in developing countries by acting as a co-ordinator and catalyst of co-operative development. Excellent site. I particularly liked their «current issues» section.

World Council of Credit Unions
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. WOCCU promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. Excellent site very rich in best practices and technical guides. Do not miss the document: «Stiking a Balance in Microfinance: a Practical Guide to Savings Mobilization»

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Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan is an independent research and teaching institute devoted to the study of co-operative organizations world-wide.A very good and interesting site Do not miss the Research Publications section and also the Social Economy Governance Portal and the Online Exhibit on Building Community.

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