Friday, October 10, 2008

Celebrate National Co-op Month!

If you did not know already, Wedge Worldwide is a department of a consumer owned co-op in Minneapolis. The Wedge Co-op to be exact. And October is the month to celebrate our business and the values it supports. It is National Co-op Month.

Here is a bit more information about co-ops. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. We base our business model on the values outlined in the Co-op Principles, which are as follows:
  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Cooperation Among Co-operatives
  • Concern for Community
Learn more about the Co-op Principles on the Wedge Co-op's website.

Now that the very base of co-ops is laid out, what is National Co-op Month? The National Co-op Month's official website states, “Each October, cooperatives all across America celebrate the role, accomplishments and contributions of our nation’s cooperatives.

The annual celebrations play a key role in promoting cooperatives to our members, the public and policy makers. Through a combination of media outreach, member education, and interaction with policy makers, co-op month events help raise the visibility of your cooperative, and improve public understanding of cooperatives.”

The theme for National Co-op Month 2008 is as follows: “Stronger Together –!” promoting the idea that everyone is stronger when we work together. Cooperatively owned businesses inherently invoke that concept through the democratic structure of their business models. “Stronger Together” was selected to establish the idea that, “when together, among each other or with consumers, cooperatives become an attractive and viable force in today’s global marketplace.”

So celebrate any cooperatively owned businesses that you know and love this month. Show your appreciation for all of the work that they do to improve how businesses are run, products are produced, et cetera.