WHAT IS SHARE CAPITAL?
The co-op calls upon the people who use and benefit from the business to invest together to help it to grow and thrive. In this way, a co-op is like any business that needs its owners to contribute capital to fund its development. But unlike in a conventional business, people choose to invest in their cooperatives not just for personal financial gain, but because they believe that their investment will support an ethical, community-oriented enterprise that aligns with their values and benefits both themselves and others. Raising capital from members is an essential expression of the cooperative business identity.
3 WAYS MEMBERS CAN HELP THEIR CO-OP
1. Fulfill the member share requirement: The member either makes a one-time equity investment, or an annual equity investment until her/his share requirement is met.
2. Make an additional investment: Either as additional non voting equity, typically in the form of preferred shares, or debt in the form of member loans.
3. Shop at the coop: This contributes to the co op’s profitability, with a portion of the profits being retained as capital, and reinvested in the cooperative business.