Cooperatives are uniquely suited to address today’s global development challenges. Through a democratic and inclusive business model, and by virtue of their underlying social justice principles, concern for community, and dedication to equitable economic growth, cooperatives make an important contribution to building stable economies and societies in today’s most difficult settings. Amidst challenges to “build back better” post COVID-19, there has never been a better time to increase the United States’ investment in cooperative development.
Cooperatives are a dynamic force for self-determination and they contribute to creating communities where all people – including women, youth and the most vulnerable – have an opportunity to improve their livelihoods. Cooperatives go where for-profit businesses will not – they provide economic opportunities and services in places that others find unprofitable or too risky. For many poor and isolated people, joining a co-op is the best option to help them find their way out of poverty.