Jessica Gordon Nembhard
University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, “Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives” (REIC)
Many cooperative studies scholars and co-op practitioners believe that successful cooperative businesses create wealth and help their members accumulate wealth and/or assets. Individual asset building or wealth accumulation is assumed to be an outcome from cooperative ownership, in addition to individual and community benefits such as job creation, education and training, income generation, affordable quality products, social capital development, and economic stability. There appears to be a measurable return on investment from cooperative ownership and unique benefits to all stakeholders that could be measured, and would increase our understanding of cooperative economic impacts on an economy.