How to set up a Cooperative Society within the workplace

While discussing the benefits of a cooperative society within the workplace, a friend of mine indicated interest and enquired on the possibility of setting up a cooperative society at her workplace. I usually advise employees interested in setting up a non-registered society to have a set of goals they intend to achieve.

It is also important that each member should be aligned to the mission and objectives with which the society was set up in the first place. If you’re thinking of setting up a cooperative society within your workplace, these are some of the issues to consider.

Goals – members need to clearly state what they intend to use the pooled funds for. Sometimes, it could be for savings, investment, electronics, vacation, emergency funds or paying for the house rent. Try to be honest with your desired goals so that your peers or colleagues can assist you to achieve this goal.

Credibility and Integrity – there’s nothing as bad as prospective and existing members defaulting on monthly contributions. It debars the objective of setting up the union in the first place. Make sure you only invite members who are committed to pooling funds.

Central Account – you may decide to set up a separate account where members can pool in the needed funds together. However, you will need two signatories to the account to facilitate easy withdrawals. On the other hand, you may issue cheques to each other and when salaries are paid, each beneficiary for the month can go to the bank to withdraw funds.

Number of Members – I usually advise prospective society members to have a small pool of interested participants rather than a large crowd so as to monitor each contributor efficiently. You’ve heard the saying “two’s a company, three’s a crowd”. Stories abound where some contributors default in repayment plans. So make it easier by having a smaller pool.

Set a target amount by having a fixed amount, which each member may pay. You can start with a minimum of N5,000 to any higher value that each member can comfortably afford without having an adverse effect on your monthly living expenses.

20 thoughts on “How to set up a Cooperative Society within the workplace

    • January says:

      Hello Declan,

      I’m not sure about the types of cooperative societies existing. However, there some are established by social clubs, corporate organisations and the informal sectors. However, their goals and objectives are preety much the same. None has more advantage than the other. Let me know what your objectives are and then I can possibly steer you in the right direction. Cheers!

  1. January says:

    You can start with a few friends who are quite trustworthy in terms of finances. Secondly, it can be informal…you all gather together and do a ballot boxes to dtermine who will collect for the first month. You can start with N5,000 – N50,000 per member depending on your financial circumstance.

    Do let me know if this answer clarifies your question.

  2. mofe says:

    please,does a co-operative to be run in a work-place has to be incorporated or registered to? and to which regulation body will it be registered? please,i need to know this. tanx.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Mofe,

      You can set up one informally amongst trusted friends or colleagues. It’s usually better to ensure everyone who’s signing up for this abide by the rules you have laid down.

    • Jan says:

      However if you want to register this cooperative body within the workplace, then you’ll need to register your body with the Lagos State Government Co-operative board. They’re located in Alausa.

  3. kemisola says:

    what are the modalities involved,if we set up a mini cooperative in the workplace and we want it toi run like one that members can borrowed lets say double of their investments after a stipulated period.

    • Jan says:

      If you are thinking of setting up a cooperative within your organization, kindly approach the Lagos State Cooperative Board at Alausa and they will guide you through the formalities.

  4. Merit Agro-Coop Services says:

    We are cooperative consultants located in Ibadan. You can contact us for all your cooperatives consultancy needs like training, seminars, cooperative business development e.t.c

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  5. Jooda Ayinde says:

    i have added to my knowledge about how to start a cooperative society at work place.

    Thank you.

    Jooda Ayinde

  6. David Obiako says:

    i have one am runing in my Church, and is my desire to register it, run a central.account and even make it a micro finance bank

  7. Mahender.v says:

    please I would I like to start a co-operative society in my town place.As for me pravte emplyee and is it possible for me to do that?

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