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International Day of Co-operatives
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day first of July, repeating indefinitely
First Saturday of July every year: Highlighting the contribution made by co-operatives across the world.
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) was formed on or around this Day in 1895, and since 1927 has observed the first Saturday of July as International Day of Co-operatives to highlight the contribution that co-operatives make across the world.
The ICA’s definition of a co-operative is: “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise”. Co-ops range from small-scale to multi-million dollar businesses in over 100 countries across the globe, employ more than 100 million people and have more than 800 million individual members. For further information visit the ICA website at: www.ica.coop.
Each year, International Day of Co-operatives has a different theme – to find out the annual theme, visit the UN International Day of Co-operatives web pages.
Through co-operative systems people can work together to support themselves in moving out of poverty, rather than being dependent on aid, for example. Studying co-operatives can link in with issues of trade, business management and workers’ rights.
Find out more about the history and global reach of co-operatives in our page on the International Year of Co-operatives 2012.