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TONY FLORENCE – COOPERATIVE SHORTFALLS

The intention with cooperatives is often completely wrong. Communities choose co operatives as a means of accessing funds, and co operatives are intended to create opportunities to cooperate with one another. The people in communities see it as an entity to gain resources and the working relationships between people in communities is often not assessed before these co operatives are started. Also, co operatives are often initiated from the outside. People come into communities from academic institutions, donor agencies, from NGO’s and the understanding of the dynamics from those communities is just not there before they create the operatives. What then ensues is that they go in with an ideological idea of what they will achieve in the co operatives and communities just fall short of their expectations. The need to co operate is first and foremost what needs to be established. What co operatives claim to do is almost always not assessed properly. So people go into businesses that from the outset are not viable. Markets are not created for these co operatives. There is no viable product or proper business plan before the cooperatives are started. And inevitably they fall short. Communities that cooperatives are intended for are also survivalist

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