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While privately-owned corporations can raise capital by selling equity shares, cooperatives are owned and governed by their stakeholders–not by absentee shareholders. But cooperative enterprises require startup and operating capital just like any other business. How, then, can cooperatives acquire this needed capital while maintaining their cooperative structure?
In the past three decades, the cooperative sector has innovated novel forms of financing that open the door to forms of financing that function similarly to equity financing. This month, we'll look at case studies and real structures that cooperatives use in practice to raise funding.