Maverick Business Adventures Founder Yanik Silver is a serial entrepreneur and millennial marketing mogul who gives generously of his time, talent, and contributions. He has previously interviewed thought-leaders and icons like Tim Ferris (4 hour Work Week), Chip Conley (PEAK), John Paul DeJoria (billionaire co-founder of Paul Mitchell and Patron), Tony Hawk, Sir Richard Branson, etc.
Elizabeth C. Page
Audacious Innovator Founder, Elizabeth C. Page, social entrepreneur and international sustainable development expert started out in India 30 years ago in an ashram in Bihar and Mother Theresa’s clinics across southern India . She delivered adult education in the far north by float plane. Nine years at the World Bank; founder of a global economics and environmental society and journal; and as a social entrepreneur, she’s worked with and interviewed include Nobel laureates, heads of state, world changers and entrepreneurs including; the late CK Prahalad and Robert McNamara, economist Herman Daley, and Norway’s Gro Brundtland Harlem, India’s Ela Bhatt, Leadership activist Margaret Wheatley, Women’s World Banking Michaela Walsh among others.
Audacious Innovators: Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Founding Principles
We’re building a membership that you want to belong to. You’re invited to co-create it.
These founding principles make it possible to create a community and that you’ll never want to leave–solid, fluid, collaborative and innovative. The structure creates the conditions where diversity and prosperity thrive and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We are committed to these principles.
The path of least resistance mimics the planet’s systems, economic rules, and global/ local communication patterns. Collaboration beats competition. Industrial-era business models are bankrupt. Robber barons own the banks. Ecological systems are broken down. Citizens are organizing. Get connected to the conversation. “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created. Albert Einstein
We’re re-designing the systems to provide structure to our membership as a collaborative laboratory–a safe and inspired place for creative destruction generating continual innovation. Sustainable entrepreneurship and social enterprise are the vehicles of this expression. And we’re serious about having fun doing it.
Here are the principles:
- Collaboration and cooperation are the first principles. The member thrives so long as the membership thrives.
- Open membership. Everyone is welcome. Paid membership has its privileges including voting and sharing rewards.
- Our members are our investors. We don’t answer to an external board of investors or stock holders. That’s you. We are all accountable to you. Our members fund our daily operations with membership dues.
- One voice, one vote. Democracy rules. Transparency rules. Open accounting is embraced.
- Leaders are our trusted servants and we serve no outside interests including investors, politics, or religion. We respect all members but like the Swiss–we don’t take sides. Nor do we make judgments, lobby positions, or abuse self-promotion
- Collaboration beats competition: Innovation begins with creative destruction. Screw business as usual. Don’t compete. CREATE.
- Reciprocity and generosity makes everyone smarter, successful and prosperous. Insights and originality beat copycat recipes—our entrepreneurs share deep conversations drilling down to the source of their successful social enterprise.
- Learning, coaching, and being coachable are the principles of individual and social enterprise growth and communications.
- Collaborators can create local Co-Labs, which are independent cells that collaborate among cells. Like #1, the member cell thrives when the whole membership thrives.
- Our primary purpose is in applying our 1% T3–Time Talent, Tithe (gift) so prosperity is shared and suffering is alleviated.
- We encourage risk but will not take unlimited risk to protect the whole membership.
- Goods and serves are provided at mutually beneficial wholesale rates to members and sold to the public at retail rates. We agree to fairly balance serving members in the wholesale/retail arena.
- Net margins distributed according to patronage means the more you participate and the more you trade, the more you prosper.
** Read more section—got to new page with detailed: Cooperative Principles.
Cooperative Principles * (source citation)
Various writers over the past century have analyzed and observed the application of cooperative principles. Although slight differences in terminology appear on the various lists, three principles emerge as being widely recognized and practiced.
These principles are more than just good practices, policies or common sense. They distinguish a cooperative from other kinds of business. They are also recognized in state and federal statutes and regulations as criteria for a business to qualify as a cooperative.
The User-Benefits Principle
Members unite in a cooperative to get services otherwise not available, to get quality supplies at the right time, to have access to markets or for other mutually beneficial reasons. Acting together gives members the advantage of economies of size and bargaining power. They benefit from having these services avail-able, in proportion to the use they make of them.
Members also benefit by sharing the earnings on business conducted on a cooperative basis. When cooperatives generate margins from efficient operations and add value to products, these earnings are returned to members in proportion to their use of the cooperative. Without the cooperative, these funds would go to other middlemen or processors.
The User-Owner Principle
The people who use a cooperative own it. As they own the assets, the members have the obligation to provide financing in accordance with use to keep the cooperative in business and permit it to grow. Accumulating adequate equity is a major challenge facing many cooperatives. How this task is accomplished is discussed later.
The User-Control Principle
As owners, a cooperative’s members control its activities. This control is exercised through voting at annual and other membership meetings, and indirectly through those members elected to the board of directors. Members, in most instances, have one vote regardless of the amount of equity they own or how much they patronize the organization.
In some instances, high-volume users may receive one or more additional votes based on their patronage. Equitable voting is assured, often by limiting the number of additional votes any one member can cast. This protects the democratic control of the membership as a whole.
Only members can vote to elect directors and to approve proposed major legal and structural changes to the organization. The member-users select leaders and have the authority to make sure the cooperative provides the services they want. This keeps the cooperative focused on serving the members, rather than earning profits for outside investors or other objectives.
Certain business practices have developed that implement and facilitate these basic principles. They further differentiate a cooperative from other forms of doing business.
The Patronage Refund System
While cooperatives strive to return earnings to members, this can’t be done on a transaction-by-transaction basis. Rather, cooperatives usually charge market prices for supplies and services furnished to members and competitive prices for products delivered for further processing and marketing. Normally, this allows them to generate sufficient income to cover costs and meet continuing needs for operating capital.
After the fiscal year is over, a cooperative computes its earnings on business conducted on a cooperative basis. Those earnings are returned to the patrons–as cash and/or equity allocations–on the basis of how much business each patron did with the cooperative during the year. These distributions are called patronage refunds.
For example, if a cooperative has earnings from business conducted on a cooperative basis of $20,000 for the year, and Ms. Jones does 2 percent of the business with the cooperative, she receives a patronage refund of $400 ($20,000 x .02).
This allows the cooperative to return margins to members on an annual basis, consistent with standard accounting conventions and without regard to how much was earned on each transaction.
Limited Return on Equity Capital
Members form a cooperative to get a service–source of supplies, market for products or performance of specialized functions–not a monetary return on capital investment.
Many cooperatives don’t pay any dividends on capital. Others pay a modest return, in line with state and federal statutes that bar substantial payments.
Limiting returns on equity supports the principle of distributing benefits proportional to use. It also discourages outsiders from trying to wrest control of a cooperative from its members and operate it as a profit-generating concern for the benefit of stockholders.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Many cooperatives, especially local associations, are too small to gather the resources needed to provide all the services their members want. By working with other cooperatives–through federated cooperatives, joint ventures, marketing agencies in common, and informal networks–they pool personnel and other assets to provide such services and programs on a collaborative basis at lower cost.
This permits members of local cooperatives to participate in owning and managing fertilizer plants, food manufacturing facilities, power plants, national financial institutions, wholesale grocery and hardware distribution programs, and so forth. Benefits flow back through the local cooperatives to the individual members.
These principles and practices have survived and flourished through 150 years of continuous evolution in the business world. They remain the foundation that supports the distinctive cooperative method of doing business.
*(source cited Dec. 1, 2011: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/pub/cir55/cir55rpt.htm)