Co-operatives are established for the benefit of their members—whether they are consumers, employees, tenants, users of mutual support services or savers and borrowers.
But life isn’t always that simple. What if you have members who don’t benefit themselves specifically, but who wish to support the venture? If you gloss over different interests —the interests of different ‘stakeholders’—you may be storing up potential problems for the future. The multi-stakeholder co-operative model offers a means to explicitly address the interests of all the stakeholders, be they employees, investors, users of the service, supporters or well-wishers, so different stakeholder groups can have a balanced voice in the business. You can bring in members from outside the main stakeholder groups as advisors, investors or ex-members holding sweat equity; they can participate, but with strictly limited rights.
— A good understanding of what a multistakeholder co-operative is, the advantages offered by this model and some of the complexity
— Awareness of some examples of multistakeholder co-ops, their successes and complexities
— Practical experience of thinking about the design of a multi-stakeholder co-op
— Hear from Brianna Wettlaufer (Co-founder and CEO) and Margaret Vincent (Senior Counsel) both of Stocksy United, a multistakeholder co-operative, which has nearly 1000 artist members, 20 staff members, as well as an founding team.
*Thanks to our friends at Stocksy United, a multistakeholder co-operative, we've got 6 free places for creative artists who are exploring how multistakeholder co-operatives could work for their business. If you would like a free place on our Multistakeholder Co-op, send us 100 words on how this workshop will support you to start or develop a creative business that uses the multistakeholder model (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kate Whittle is an
experienced trainer and facilitator, working in and with
co-operatives of all kinds–both in the UK and overseas-for nearly 30
years. She is also a partner in Cooperantics LLP
and secretary of Go-op Co-operative,
aiming to be the first co-operative open access rail service in the UK.