A co-operative society is an association of persons who have voluntary joined together to achieve a common end through the formation of a democratically controlled organization making equitable contributions to the capital required and accepting a fair share of the risks and benefits of the undertaking in which the members actively participate (L.L.O 1960).
The term co-operative is often used to mean the activities of a specific form of organization, that is any form of persons working together to achieve some aim or aims on a formal basis.
A co-operative is always determined by four elements and these are:
i. A group of persons with at least one economic interest in common.
ii. The self-help motivation, that is, the aim of the group which is to meet the common need of members by joint action based on mutual assistance.
iii. The means to achieve this aim which is to establish a common enterprise.
iv. The main objectives of this co-operative enterprise is to perform services . The promotion of the economic interest of the members.
The attitude of people students and the society in general especially the ignorant ones towards co-operative society today is not encouraging and this has prompted the researcher to carry out study on the importance of studying the course by students so that they may contribute to the knowledge of co-operative after their stay on school and to make known to the outside world the impact of co-operative societies.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The first successful co-operative society is caused the Rochadale society of equitable pioneers was established in Rochdale an industrial town close to Manchester. The Friendly Societies Act registered the society on October, 28th 1844.
This co-operative society originated from discontent with the adulteration of goods, false weights and measures and high prices prevailing on retail distribution among workers living on or near subsistence level owing to their bargaining power, living on or near subsistence level (Bob lgwe 1993:2) owing to their weak bargaining power in the labour market. The consumer co –operative movement on the true sense was the off-spring of a marriage between the wage camers need of an immediate rise in their standard of living and the aspiration towards a better social order based on the teachings of Robert Owen, Dr Willian king and other social philosophers and pioneers of 18th and 19th century England.
This society started with just twenty eight workers who set out themselves to conquer the world by faith and sheer determination. Much work which led to the success of the first co-operative in Rochale was done by these committed members who believed on mutual help. They were guarded by terms and principles which they knew were going to help them and so in 1852, the industrial and provident societies Act law was passed by the British parliament. But today, we have many co-operative shops and societies in existence.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
There have been concentrated effort by government and some philanthropists to enhance the knowledge and establishment of co-operative colleges and enterprises are aimed at making its existence known and probably for it to be patronized and identified with, inspite of all these efforts being made, the co-operative societies still existence low level of patronage and membership and this is caused by probably low level of education and training. There is general laxity amongst members who believe that the co-operative business is no business. Since profits is not shared and non-members enjoy equal benefits with members and they stand to lose nothing in the members business running at a loss while the members bear the risks alone.
When then are the causes of this non-challant attitude of members and non-members towards the co-operative society and what are the importance of the business to the society? What benefit is the society to it’s members?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Since the co-operative society or enterprise can be said to be business organization, it has done much impact to the world of business on the society today and so its importance cannot be over emphasized. Based on the problems stated above, the objectives of this research shall be,
1 To find out the importance of co-operative business enterprises
2 To find out the roles of co-operative business enterprises
3 To find out the impact of effect it has.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research is important to both the student and members of co-operative business enterprises because it encourages growth and diversification, provided for the best us of human beings and stimulates creativity.
This research will be one of the things the researcher will fulfil before the award of Ordinary National Diploma. It will also serve as a reference for further researcher to know more about the topic finally through the knowledge obtained from the research, the researcher will understand the principles and methods of the co-operative business enterprises and so be in a position to impact the knowledge on to people for the progress of the nation.
TO CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY MEMBERS
This research work is of a good significance to them because it brings to their knowledge the benefits and importance of co-operative business enterprise. Among these are: –
1. It enables a member to have the spirit of oneness in whatever they do.
2. It brings to their knowledge the benefits of bulk buying which increases patronage refund.
3 Better services and value for money are gotten from being a member since a member is a customer and at the same time a shareholder.
4 A number enjoys low concession and exemption since they are involved on promotion and non-profit.
5 A member is given loan if he wants in a credit society.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Principles: This is a general law determining the existence and distinguishing it from other systems.
Co-operator: This is a person that has accepted the terms and principles of co-operatives and so has decided to join the co-operatives as a member sharing in all its profits and losses.
Democratic Management: This means that the co-operative is an organization that should be handled or the principle of one member one vote and must enjoy independence and autonomy.