Committing To The Formation Of A Cooperative

This is my second blog about cooperative and most of what I write here came from my reading about it as well as what I gathered from resource persons in the meetings I attended regarding the formation of a multipurpose cooperative composed of people with common bonds to the Internet café business in the country. As I  said in my previous blog about the subject, I do not have actual experience in the formation of a cooperative. On this one, I will discuss why the i-café industry must have a cooperative and how can one commit to its formation. Like any business decision, joining a cooperative especially at its formative stage entails some risks and knowing the factors that could bring success to the endeavor will certainly help in making the right decision.

Except for the existing big chains of internet cafés like Netopia, ExCel and a few more, the i-café industry in the country can be considered marginal in status. The micro, small and medium sectors of the industry are striving to survive against low revenues, high cost of power and unstable internet connections. And while the costs of hardware has gone done, replacement and maintenance of equipment are still factors to reckon with if an i-café business has to survive the competition. Support from the government is not forthcoming because the industry has yet to gain the recognition of its role in providing affordable internet access as well as bridging the digital divide in their localities.

Self-help among the stakeholders with common bond to the industry seems to be the only foreseeable and viable support that can be made available to arrest the high attrition rate happening in the industry at present. It is along this thinking that some concerned people in the industry thought of forming a cooperative that could provide its stakeholders with reasonably priced products and services.

Committing to the formation of a cooperative entails some sacrifices and responsibilities. The would-be cooperators will have to find time to attend the pre-membership education seminars before they can be accepted as member of the cooperative. He must also shell out some money and commit to the payment of share in the capital of the cooperative. Last and foremost is his commitment to patronize the products and services that the cooperative will carry. Also, the cooperators who will get elected to manage the entity will have to do so diligently and with full honesty in exchange for minimal compensation for their services.

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