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Jainaba Jobarteh: Reasons for Co-op Failure

· Jainaba Jobarteh

Jainaba Jobarteh has been running a food co-op program in Madrid, Spain for several years, having watched it grow from an interest into a successful program that provides hundreds of residents with healthy food options. She's put in time and effort, together with others, to see it work.

Around the world, many co-ops don’t succeed. There are various reasons why these don’t find success, including having small retail spaces, low budgets, short development timelines and an over-reliance on member labor. Low budgets and truncated schedules often imply poor planning and people trying to cut corners, which is a recipe for disaster.

Finding members, raising finances and settling on the right location are essential and time-consuming aspects that people need to work through patiently and with consideration. It is possible to organize quickly with a small membership group, but as Jainaba Jobarteh knows, this often means fewer committed members and a reduced pool of potential capital contributors.

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