A co-op’s primary purpose is to meet the needs of its members, unlike most other businesses that exist solely to maximize profit. The co-operative enterprise model can be applied to any kind of business or need.
Co-ops are often initiated by a group of people who share a common need such as a local grocery store. In 1844, the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society was founded by 28 men who wanted to improve their working & living conditions. They opened a store to sell honest food at honest prices – today it is known as the beginning of the modern co-operative movement.