Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Good Business

Handbook on Community Investment in Co-Operatives


2 November 2016 at 8:44 am
Lina Caneva
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) has produced a self-help manual to assist communities around Australia to use the co-operative model to raise capital.


Lina Caneva | 2 November 2016 at 8:44 am


0 Comments


 Print
Handbook on Community Investment in Co-Operatives
2 November 2016 at 8:44 am

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) has produced a self-help manual to assist communities around Australia to use the co-operative model to raise capital.

The BCCM said the handbook, called Community Investment for Australian Co-Operatives, has been developed to introduce communities and existing co-operatives to methods of financing and to demonstrate that co-operative shares, despite their unique characteristics, are flexible capital instruments ideally suited to community enterprises.

“The handbook will give co-operatives information to increase their ‘financial literacy’ and familiarity with co-operative financing methods under the co-operatives national law (CNL) and provide some guidance for communities wishing to start up co-operatives that are suited to community investment,” author Robyn Donnelly said.

“Access to capital has always been a hurdle for the growth of the co-operative sector, partly as a result of what is seen as a ‘traditional financial operating method’ and because co-operatives tend to sit outside financial markets.

“Co-operative shares are not tradeable on financial markets, and other securities

are generally not used for financing.”

The handbook points to a report from a Senate inquiry into cooperatives, mutuals and member-owned firms which found that “there are currently limited options for

co-operatives and mutuals to raise capital that avoid the debt to equity ratio problem”.

The Senate made a recommendation that governments support small and medium co-ops to raise capital in flexible ways.

Donnelly said the 2009 launch of the Community Shares Unit by Co-operatives UK provided an example of the potential of community investment through co-operatives to build self-sustaining community enterprises.

“This handbook owes much to the resources produced by the Community Shares Unit,” she said.

The handbook is divided into five sections:

  • Part one looks at the concept and potential of community investment as a fundraising model, and examines the potential of crowdfunding and its availability as a tool for the promotion of community investment.
  • Part two examines the different types of co-operative under Australian law and identifies factors in each type that may influence a community’s journey to decide the design of an appropriate business model. It also deals briefly with the process of forming a co-operative, but more particularly with the Australian regulatory requirements for active membership.
  • Part three explains the characteristics, restrictions and flexibility of different types of co-operative securities and their classification as either equity or debt.
  • Part four provides a guide to the disclosure requirements for co-operative securities under the co-operatives national law.
  • Part five contains some examples and additional resources.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Advertisement

Virtual Congress - CPA Australia

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Shared value rises to the challenge of 2020

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 28th October 2020 at 5:15 pm

‘I remain a champion of capitalism’

Helen Steel

Wednesday, 21st October 2020 at 5:12 pm

Co-operatives – the slow food of social enterprise?

Antony McMullen

Wednesday, 14th October 2020 at 5:25 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×