Initial Investment

We can put together loans, presell products, solicit donations through crowdfunding campaigns and still fall short of our needs.  When all options have been exhausted, the co-op members have to come up with the remaining investment if the enterprise is to move forward.  Plans can be altered to take out a piece of equipment, projects can be delayed rather than implemented at the start.  We can go talk to more people, hope for improved recruitment figures.

I've repeatedly come up with $500 being the high limit for getting people involved.  For some, $500 is a hardship.  There will be folks who want to be part of this but just can't come up with the money all at once.  In such cases, and they need to be few, it may be possible to work with the potential member, taking payments over a few weeks.  Discretion will be needed or everyone will want to make payments.  If payments is the preferred means of gathering the investment capital, the payments should start well ahead of the planned inception date.  When its Go Time, everyone is paid up.

With the complete payment of this investment the prospective member purchases a share of the co-op company.  They are a shareholder.  This gives them rights and privelages according to the law of the land.  The share can be sold, offering an exit strategy.  Certain limitations may be imposed by agreement prior to the purchase of the share, such as the share can only be sold to a US citizen and must be approved by the Co-op.  One limit that is key to the success of the enterprise is no shareholder can sell one's share to another shareholder, and no shareholder or couple can hold more than one share.  If someone can assume control of the co-op, the integrity and purpose of its existence can be destroyed.

Monies paid will become the property of the Co-op and used to purchase equiment, tools, and supplies and to do all those things a company would do.


Cooperative Enterprise, Plan Outline