IYC Key Messages

Co-operatives provide a sustainable business model that supports the social and economic development of economies, communities, and individuals around the world.

The United Nations International Year of Co-operatives is a monumental year, which will provide a platform to educate the public on the strength and socio-economic value of co-operatives.

1. This scalable and successful model of enterprise legitimises co-operatives on a global level and empowers them to be major economic forces within countries

  • According to the World Co-operative Monitor (2012), the world’s largest 300 co-operatives generated revenues of USD 2 trillion – which is comparable to the GDP of the world’s ninth largest economy (India).
  • This model is on track to become the fastest growing business model by 2020.

2. The diverse, values-based business provides a sustainable source of revenue for communities and individuals – which builds lasting economic strength

  • Co-operatives operate in a range of sectors – ranging from banking, credit, housing, health, retail, food, utilities and agriculture.
  • Co-operatives are owned by nearly one billion people across the globe.
  • Co-operatives employ nearly 100 million people – 20 percent more than multinational enterprises.

3. As member-controlled businesses co-operatives employ democratic principles that put people first

  • Co-operatives promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people, including women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples.
  • Co-operatives innovate to meet the needs of their members, and may offer new products or services—ahead of competing businesses—because members ask for it.


14 Jul 2020

As member of the Committee for…

24 Jun 2020

Young co-operators across the world will celebrate the…