2017 National Mutual Economy Report Incorporating the Top 100

This is the fourth annual report on the scale and performance of the Australian co‑operative and mutual sector. The report aims to map the size, composition and overall health of the co‑operative and mutual sector using the Australian Co‑operative and Mutual Enterprise Index (AC MEI), which started in 2012 with the first national data collection process in 2014.

The AC MEI is a long term research project undertaken by the University of Western Australia to map the size and structure of the co‑operative and mutual enterprise (CME) sector in Australia. Its purpose is to provide a better understanding of these businesses and their contribution to the national economy.

Despite representing some of the largest businesses in their sectors and being found across a wide range of industries, the overall size, structure and contribution of the CME sector in Australia is relatively poorly understood. This is due to a paucity of reliable data, difficulties in definition and vagueness over which firms should be identified as CMEs.

For this year’s report on the AC MEI, see Mazzarol, T. & Kresling, J. (2017), Australia’s Leading Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises in 2017, CEMI Discussion Paper Series, DP 1701, Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation.

All financial statistics presented in this report are in AU dollars unless otherwise indicated.

Download the 2017 National Mutual Economy Report Incorporating the Top 100.


2017 National Mutual Economy Report (NME 2017) was produced thanks to sponsorship by HCF, research by the University of Western Australia and the input of a number of CMEs and other researchers.

From the University of Western Australia we’d like to thank Professor Tim Mazzarol, Dr Elena Limnios and Johannes Kresling.

For their work on this year’s NME we would also like to acknowledge Chris Mason, Next Level Research; Tony Connon; and Duncan Wallace.

We thank Professor Morris Altman, Dean and Head of University of Newcastle Business School, for his work using economic modelling to provide our Total Value Added and employment statistics.