What are self-help enterprises (SHEs)?
A self-help enterprise is an organization that intervenes within a market in the best interest of its members. Whether as consumers, as producers, as a community, or as workers. Groups of people decide to work together using self-help enterprises, with the objective of improving their position within the market. The primary aim of their joint intervention is to secure a ‘better deal’ on their members' behalf.
The alternative to mutual action is usually to remain at the mercy of those who dominate or manipulate markets. It’s easy enough to see the need to take mutual action to improve our lives, but it’s a much tougher challenge to set up and run the kind of organization that’s needed to achieve the changes that members want. The diverse types of self-help enterprises include, for example, cooperatives, credit unions, mutual insurers, building societies, friendly societies, and community enterprises.
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