The cooperative enterprise model is seeing a renaissance around the world. The turnover of the largest 300 cooperatives in the world over the last 3 years has grown by 11.6 per cent to reach 2.2 trillion USD in 2012. Preliminary data from 76 countries points to more than 250 million people working in co-operatives. The International Co-operative Alliance recently postulated that cooperatives would be the fastest growing form of enterprise by 2020.
This is an ambitious goal, even taking into account the momentum of the cooperative movement in the aftermath of the crisis and following the 2012 UN International Year of Cooperatives. Their continued appeal in follow up to the global ‘great recession’ suggests it might not be off target.