Research

The BCCM researches the size and contribution of co-operatives and mutuals in Australia to provide evidence for the competitive advantages of member-owned businesses. The BCCM is the only non-governmental organisation collecting annual data on the state of the sector. Improving the collection of data on co-operative and mutual businesses by government was a key recommendation of the 2016 Senate inquiry into the sector.

Our most recent reports

National Mutual Economy Report

Annual report on the size and contribution of the Australian co-op and mutual sector. It provides a yearly update on the health of the sector.

Leading the Resilience Report

Report on the response of leading Australian co-ops and mutuals to the COVID-19 pandemic, staying resilient and true to the purpose of serving their members.

Blueprint for an enterprising nation

A policy guide to how Australia’s co-operative and mutual businesses can contribute to our nation’s growth and prosperity.

Browse our reports

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Developing a pedagogy for co-operative education in Australia

Recommendations on the need for co-operative educational framework in Australia. Co-operative Farming has used this report for its Educational and Accreditation Framework.
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Learning on the go

Identifying barriers and opportunities for the formation and development of agricultural co-operatives in Australia.
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Purposeful, Sustainable Business

This report examines the nature of company boards’ understanding and familiarity with the concept of social responsibility and the importance of their corporate footprint being open to scrutiny.
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Action to Empower: Why Australia needs more co-operative and mutual enterprises in health, community, and social services

This report focusses on the potential contribution of co-operatives and mutuals to innovation and reforms in aged care and disability services, informed by Australian experiences and a BCCM study tour...
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Community investment for Australian co-operatives: A handbook

For communities who want to work together to build an enterprise that serves their needs and aspirations. Updated 2021.
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Co-operative Farming: Blueprint for future proofing Aussie farmers

This report highlights thriving agricultural co-operative businesses, focusing on how co-operatives are good for farmers, fishers and foresters; regional Australia; and Australia.
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Discussion paper: Co-operatives and mutuals as social enterprises

How co-operatives and mutuals sit alongside contemporary definitions and accreditation processes for social enterprise and the alignment between the objectives of social enterprise policymakers and...
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CoopConnect: A Coop Eco-System to enhance connectivity and promote innovation in the Cooperative Enterprise sector

This report presents CoopConnect, an initiative to transform the CME sector by creating an innovative environment that will leverage CMEs’ distinctive capabilities.
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Eliza’s Project: Gender inclusion in the CME sector in Australia

Women had equal voting power in co-operatives decades before the success of the women’s suffrage movement. This report looks at the current position of gender inclusion.
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Who knew Australians were so co-operative?

The size and scope of mutually owned co-operatives in Australia.
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Sticky Money

An outline of the commercial value of Australian co-operatives and mutuals

Research projects

The BCCM works closely with universities and researchers to increase research into the Australian co-operative and mutual sector.

Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit (CERU) – University of Western Australia
Co-operative Research Group – University of Sydney

The Co-operatives Research Group provides a forum for research into and teaching about all forms of mutual organisations, including; consumer, social, worker, finance, producer co-operatives and other membership-based democratic organisations. CRG has produced: Co-operatives in Australia: Growth, decline and revival – Visual Atlas. Throughout the year, the Co-operatives Research Group hosts seminars and events.

Monash Business School - Monash University

The BCCM has partnered with the Monash Business School’s Department of Accounting to create an industry value framework for co-operatives and mutuals termed a Mutual Value Measurement (MVM). The project totals $1.1 million, including a $0.6m contribution from industry.

Measuring the value created by Australia’s co-operatives and mutuals

Putting a value on social impact

Measuring CMEs value videos playlist

‘People before profit’ – How mutuals are teaching banks a lesson – an episode of Thought Capital, Mutuals and co-ops are having their moment. With Professor Matthew Hall and Dr Paul Thambar.

Browse the Mutual Value Measurement website

Centre for Business and Social Innovation – University of Technology Sydney

Building and sustaining an innovative environment is an integral part of building successful Cooperative and Mutual Enterprises (CMEs) in Australia. This report presents CoopConnect, an initiative to transform the CME sector by creating an innovative environment that will leverage CMEs’ distinctive capabilities. CoopConnect also proposes a branding exercise, whereby CMEs will broadcast their distinctive position as community oriented, sustainable and socially responsible enterprises.

Per Capita

The BCCM partnered with independent think tank, Per Capita again in 2017 to undertake research into disability inclusion in Australian CMEs.

Browse the Disability Inclusion Toolkit and report.

The BCCM’s previous collaboration with Per Capita was the gender inclusion research Eliza’s Project.

Towards a Co-operative State: Securing the Social and Economic Prosperity of South Australia through corporate diversity

Dr Guy Turnbull is a leading UK social care expert, involved in the co-operative and social enterprise sector since 1988.

Dr Guy Turnbull has set out to explore how corporate diversity can empower people with disability as citizens, so they are able to exercise real choice and control in a diversified marketplace of providers.

Read report