TODAY -

Career in Cooperatives

Ranjan K Baruah *



A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise".

Cooperatives may include: non-profit community organizations, businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services (a consumer cooperative), organisations managed by the people who work there (worker cooperatives), organisations managed by the people to whom they provide accommodation (housing cooperatives), hybrids such as worker cooperatives that are also consumer cooperatives or credit unions, multi-stakeholder cooperatives such as those that bring together civil society and local actors to deliver community needs, second- and third-tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives

Research published by the Worldwatch Institute found that in 2012 approximately one billion people in 96 countries had become members of at least one cooperative. One dictionary defines a cooperative as "a jointly owned enterprise engaging in the production or distribution of goods or the supplying of services, operated by its members for their mutual benefit, typically organized by consumers or farmers".

Cooperative businesses are typically more economically resilient than many other forms of enterprise; with twice the number of co-operatives (80%) surviving their first five years compared with other business ownership models (41%).

Cooperatives frequently have social goals which they aim to accomplish by investing a proportion of trading profits back into their communities. As an example of this, in 2013, retail co-operatives in the UK invested 6.9% of their pre-tax profits in the communities in which they trade as compared with 2.4% for other rival supermarkets.

Co-operatives also foster external equality. As they are community-based, they are committed to the sustainable development of their communities environmentally, socially and economically. This commitment can be seen in their support for community activities, local sourcing of supplies to benefit the local economy, and in decision-making that considers the impact on their communities.

Co-operatives have been acknowledged as associations and enterprises through which citizens can effectively improve their lives while contributing to the economic, social, cultural and political advancement of their community and nation.

The co-operative movement has been also recognized as a distinct and major stakeholder in both national and international affairs.

The earliest record of a co-operative comes from Fenwick, Scotland where, in March 14, 1761, in a barely furnished cottage local weavers manhandled a sack of oatmeal into John Walker's whitewashed front room and began selling the contents at a discount, forming the Fenwick Weavers' Society.

Students may take up courses like MBA in Cooperative management or other diploma and certificate courses. Specialisations may be workers cooperatives, consumer's cooperative, etc. Students from any stream may join post graduate diploma or management courses.

One may get jobs in agricultural cooperatives, cooperatives banks, housing cooperatives, etc. Aspirants may become consultant and start their own consultancy services. We shall write more in our next edition.

Updates:

SIA Youth Scholarship in Singapore 2019: SIA Youth Scholarship in Singapore 2019 invites applications from students who have passed their class 10 in 2018 and are willing to study at Pre-University 2-years studies in selected Singapore Junior Colleges in the year 2019.

The scholarship is being offered by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, which is responsible for the formulation and implementation of education policies on education structure, curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. An applicant must -be a national of India, be born between 2000 and 2002, have passed class 10 in 2018, possess outstanding academic track record. Aspirants may apply on or before 22nd July.


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a career mentor and can be contacted at bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com for any career related queries
This article was posted on July 10, 2018.


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