Steps in starting a cooperative
- Invite leading potential member-users to meet and discuss
issues. Identify the economic need a cooperative might fill.
- Conduct an exploratory meeting with potential member-users.
If the group votes to continue, select a steering committee.
- Survey prospective members to determine the potential
use of a cooperative.
- Discuss survey results at a second general meeting of
all potential members and vote on whether to proceed.
- Conduct a needs analysis.
- Discuss results of the needs analysis at a third general
meeting. Vote by secret ballot on whether to proceed.
- Conduct a feasibility analysis and develop a business
- Present results of the feasibility analysis at the fourth
general meeting. If participants agree to proceed, decide
whether to keep or change the steering committee members.
- Prepare legal documents and incorporate.
- Call a meeting of charter members and all potential members
to review and adopt the proposed bylaws. Elect a board of
- Convene the first meeting of the board and elect officers.
Assign responsibilities to implement the business plan
- Conduct a membership drive
- Acquire capital and develop a loan application package
- Hire the manager
- Acquire facilities
- Begin operations
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