Co-operatives and Mutuals around the world

Co-operation is not a marginal phenomenon. More than 1.2 billion people, one in every six people on the planet, are members of any of the 3 million co-operatives in the world! They are strong and healthy: the Top 300 co-operatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2.1 trillion USD, according to the World Co-operative Monitor (2018)


International co-operation


  • International Co-operative Alliance
    The International Co-operative Alliance is the apex organisation for co-operatives worldwide. Established in 1895 to advance the co-operative model, it represents 304 co-operative federations and organisations across 105 countries. The International Co-operative Alliance represents 1.2 billion people through its membership from the 2.6 million co-operatives worldwide. One in every six people on the planet are co-operators.
  • Cooperatives Europe
    Cooperatives Europe is the voice of cooperative enterprises in Europe, representing the International Co-operative Alliance.
  • Co-operatives of the Americas
    The regional office of the International Co-operative Alliance for the Americas.
  • The Alliance Africa
    The regional office of the International Co-operative Alliance for Africa.
  • International Co-operative Alliance Asia-Pacific
    The regional office of the International Co-operative Alliance for the Asia-Pacific.


National co-operation


  • Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) (National Peak)
    COBA is the industry advocate for Australia’s customer-owned banking sector.
  • Instil (National Peak)
    Instil is the peak professional body for mutual directors, managers and employees in Australia.
  • Co-ops NSW (State Peak)
    Co-ops NSW is the peak body for co-operatives in NSW.
  • Co-operatives WA (State Peak)
    Co-operatives WA is the peak body for co-operatives in WA.
  • Employee Ownership Australia (Supporting organisation)
    Employee Ownership Australia is an active voice for broad-based employee ownership and dynamic workplace participation in Australian and New Zealand companies. It works with government and individual companies to implement employee ownership or employee share plans.


Co-operatives in Australia


Co-operative and mutual enterprises are a significant contributor to the Australian economy. 8 in 10 Australians are members of at least one co-operative or mutual, with many being members of multiple entities (there are 31.3 million memberships in Australia). Total value added of the co-operative and mutual sector is $140 billion – 8.3% of GDP, and, excluding mutual super funds, total revenue of the top 100 co-operatives and mutuals is $31.9 billion. The sector provides core business support for over 160,000 businesses.


The contribution of the CME sector to the Australian Economy

The information below is from T Mazzarol, Australia’s Leading Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises in 2019, which is part of the CEMI Discussion Paper series. 

CMEs play a vital and quantifiable role locally and internationally. The data shows:

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