Briefly in English

Tampere Region Co-operative Centre

Tampere Region Cooperative Centre has operated since 1998 and promoted co-operative entrepreneurship through counseling, education and information dissemination. Anyone considering setting up a co-operative can obtain practical advice and moral support from the very first steps of the establishment process. The new co-operatives are offered overall expertise taking into account of the individuals of which the co-operative is to be formed.

The Cooperative Center has helped nearly 2000 people to establish over 200 co-operatives during the past 18 years. The societal impact of the co-operatives is regionally important as the co-operatives create new jobs and the entrepreneurs already working in the field affirm their positions through co-operation. The new co-operatives channel both financial and social welfare to its members and cause positive multiplicative effect around.

Our Services

Co-operative counselling and education in Tampere region

  • general information dissemination of co-operative (lectures and information dissemination events)
  • information on joining in a co-operative
  • co-operative establishment process counselling
  • administration and management of co-operative
  • tailored education (co-operative training, entrepreneurship training emphasised in networking and partnership, professional days e.g. at educational institutions and to operating co-operatives)

Co-operative development

  • information dissemination
  • social economy research
  • development projects
  • national and international co-operation

 

Co-operative

What is a co-operative?

A co-operative is an enterprise which objective is to promote the economic and business interests of its members by way of the pursuit of economic activity. Besides economic interests co-operative can also pursue social and cultural needs and aspirations of its members. The co-operative is jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise and each member has an equal vote. The co-operative can be established with one private individual, enterprise or other institution.

By definition co-operative is an organisation which membership and share capital have not been determined in advance. In practise this means that joining in and resigning from the co-operative is fairly easy. Also a member who does not meet the requirements of the co-operative can be expelled. For share capital there is no minimum stipulated by the law. The co-operative can thus be established with fairly small investments. The share capital of the co-operative amounts to the shares of which members purchase as they establish or join in a co-operative. Value of the share is determined in by-laws or it can be stated by the general meetings and each member has to purchase one share. Members of the co-operative have limited personal liability i.e. they are only liable for the limit of their share in the co-operative.

Establishing a co-operative

The co-operative must be entered in the Trade Register. Before this there are certain procedures to go through. First of all the co-operative has to set rules which are stipulated by the Co-operative Act. The Act stipulates only a small amount of the sections so there are lot of options how to set the rules. The founder members have to sign a charter of foundation and the board of director(s) has to be chosen. Also the co-operative is obliged to keep financial records and provide an Annual report. In addition there are two application forms, Y1 and Appendix No:2, to be filled in and signed (www.ytj.fi).

Different types of co-operatives

Worker co-operatives are established to create or maintain employment of its members. Through worker co-operatives the members sell their expertise and skills by services and/or products they have made. Usually the worker co-operatives act on a various branches of businesses but also they may be concentrated in one branch when they are called as expert co-operatives.

Marketing co-operatives act as a channel for people or other entrepreneurs to market their products and/or services through mutual brand or trade name. The marketing co-operative offers the economies of scale to its members.

Acquisition co-operatives are like marketing co-operatives but the benefit comes the other way round. Through acquisition co-operatives the members benefit from the purchasing power it creates. They can buy services and/or products in bigger amounts and with lower prices than by themselves.

The amount of co-operatives in social and welfare sectors is increasing as the public sector cannot meet the requirements and continually increasing costs of the society. The services offered in social and welfare sectors by co-operatives include household services, home nursing and hospice services.

Useful Links

Pellervo, Finnish service organisation for cooperation
http://pellervo.fi/kielet/english/

Enterprise Finland
http://www.yrityssuomi.fi/en/home

BIS, The Finnish Business Information system
http://www.ytj.fi/english/

Database of Finnish acts and decrees
http://www.finlex.fi/english/index.html

Contact Information

Tampere Region Cooperative Centre

Ulla Leppänen, CEO, Msc (Econ.)
tel. +358 50 395 0112
ulla.leppanen(at)osuustoimintakeskus.net