This brief is part of the Transforming our world: A cooperative 2030 series produced by the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC). Through a series of 17 briefs, one for each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), COPAC hopes to raise awareness about the significant contributions of cooperative enterprises towards achieving the 2030 Agenda in a sustainable, inclusive and responsible way, and encourage continued support for their efforts. This brief in the series focuses on the first SDG on ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Cooperatives are uniquely placed to eradicate poverty, as people-centred businesses that exist to meet the needs of their members. In Europe, the first modern cooperative was established in 1844 in Ro- chdale, England by a group of 28 artisans working in the cotton mills. To overcome indecent working conditions and low wages, the weavers decided to pool their scarce resources and open a shop selling basic goods at a lower price. Every customer who shopped there became a member of the coopera- tive, giving them a democratic say in how the business was run.