About co-operatives and mutuals
Co-operatives and mutuals are member-owned businesses formed to benefit the people who use them rather than shareholders. They are a rational alternative to investor-owned businesses, which prioritise returns to external investors.
Co-ops and mutuals often form in response to a market failure. Once established, they can be highly successful and sustainable enterprises. Co-ops and mutuals have been serving Australians for more than 175 years.
Member-owned businesses shape markets in the interests of the community. They increase competition and choice for consumers while also giving smaller enterprises the opportunity to access larger markets by combining forces.
8 in 10 Australians are members of at least one mutually owned organisation. Co-ops and mutuals have a staggering combined membership of 31 million in Australia.
What are co-ops and mutuals?
Co-ops and mutuals are member-owned businesses that trade for a surplus to fulfill their mission.
The purpose of co-ops and mutuals
In a business, purpose matters. Co-ops exist to benefit members rather than shareholders.
Benefits of co-ops and mutuals
Co-op and mutual are good for people, the environment and the economy.
Co-op and mutuals deliver trusted products and services in some of the most competitive markets.
Browse these case studies to learn about the incredible breadth of the Australian co-operative and mutual sector.