Templating the Co-op Start-Up Process


When designing software, i found that it was better to put more time into the set-up, so as to save time in future, especially when writing for re-use.

I would like to use this method for setting up, and maintaining the legal infrastructure of a co-operative.

We will all have to do these tasks in one form or another, as it’s the basic tasks required for every business.

I would like to propose the creation of some form of template system, that we can use to automate the founding of a co-operative.

This will be for the benefit of other people who want to start a co-operative, as they can use the same templates, so it becomes easier to create a co-operative business.

This means more potential members for CoTech, and a great improvement in the whole Co-op ecosystem.

Extra benefit is that we share the cognitive base-load of the de-bugging process so it runs more effectively, and we all make fewer mistakes. :smiley:


There is the One Click Co-op stuff the One Click Orgs lots did with Co-ops UK but it is very basic (and I think remember Mark Simmonds from Co-op Culture telling me that it doesn’t even really work :-/ ).

Still, I’d love to see something similar but one that virtualises all the various versions of both the Somerset Rules and FairShares Rules as opposed to just the Co-ops UK Multistakeholder Rules that One Click Co-op uses (because the former allow you to giving varying power to different stakeholder groups - e.g. workers 50%, customers 25% investors 25%, or whatever - whereas all members in the latter have equal say whatever stakeholder group they are part of.

I like being able to weight stakeholder groups as it allows one to approximate the Participatory Economics Decision-Making principle that “everyone should have a say in decisions proportionate to the degree to which they are affected by them”.


Webarchitects is a multi-stakeholder co-op with a common ownership structure and voting weights for the different classes of members, workers have 50%, clients and partners 25% and investors 25%, see our rules:

However with hindsight I think I might prefer the option that the New Internationalist opted for, “75% of board members must be user members”, (see their rules) as this means you don’t have any complicated maths to work out votes.


Just seen that the FairShares webpage http://www.fairshares.coop/ownership/ has a link to a Rules Genertor, https://sites.google.com/view/fairsharesrules

These are the rulesets for co-operatives, https://sites.google.com/view/fairsharesrules/cooperatives

More chewy reading. :smiley:


I’d forgotten about that! :slight_smile: