This volume is for anyone whose job it is to assist people to start their own businesses, or "income-generating projects", and who is considering the merits of group as opposed to individual enterprise. Emphasis is placed on decision-making based on an understanding of the issues involved and on local needs rather than any preconceived preferences. "Their own idea" starts with a general introduction to workers' co-operatives and their history and present position in industrialized and developing countries. It explores 13 detailed case studies of workers' co-operatives in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Some of these projects have failed and others have succeeded, but they all have important lessons and warnings for anyone who may be involved in similar enterprises.
Malcolm Harper taught at Cranfield School of Management until 1995, and since then has worked mainly in India. He has published on enterprise development and microfinance. He was Chairman of Basix Finance from 1996 until 2006, and is Chairman of M-CRIL, the microfinance credit rating agency.
Foreword vii 1. Introduction: What are workers'co-operatives? 1 2. Formal workers' co-operatives in industrialized countries 7 3. Industrialized country successes: kibbutzes and Mondragon 21 4. Three British failures: Kirkby, the Scottish Daily News, and Meriden 30 5. The developing country experience 41 6. Introduction to the case studies 50 The Puri Road Coir Business, India 53 The Das Brothers Plastic Moulders, India 58 The Ibadan Co-operative Tailors' Society, Nigeria 64 The Thusano Silversmiths, Botswana 69 The Nia Welders' Society, Tanzania 77 Clays of Jamaica Co-operative 84 The Sekondi-Takoradi Tailors' Co-operative Society, Ghana 92 The Musika Catering Co-operative, Zimbabwe 102 The Marama Co-operative Society, Fiji 106 Candle Industries Co-operative, Dominica 113 The Mandro Stonecutters' Co-operative, India 121 The Shumgu Women's Group, Zimbabwe 129 The Orissa Filigree Workers' Co-operative Society, India 134 7. The Lessons 141 References 146 Select Bibliography 148
Lessons from Workers' Cooperatives
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THEIR OWN IDEA