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During the years 2009 and 2010, the Central Union assisted in the establishment of cooperatives in various fields: renewable energy, catering and restaurant businesses, sound services (music and amplification). Along with establishing these cooperatives, we are experiencing a lot of interest from professionals in various fields: designers, graphic artists, physicians, drivers and others, wishing to associate on an ideological business basis in order to create a democratic professional corporation that will meet the needs both of the individual and of the group. Among these: employment terms, social benefits, representation in front of authorities and ministries for improving their conditions, including promotion and representation in regards to regulation and legislation issues, widening business scope and even creating a financially secure corpus which is capable of taking part in large scale tenders.

Even during these days, in view of the situation of the Israeli market, there is no doubt that a cooperative of professionals who share an ideological concept on a democratic voluntary basis can create a significant financial and social advantage for its members as well as for the cooperative itself. This was shown many times by cooperatives in Israel and around the world.
According to the ICA International Co-Operative Alliance, more than 800 million people worldwide are registered members of cooperative organizations. The annual overall financial activity of the world’s 300 largest cooperatives is about US$ 100 billion. Cooperative organizations are successful in the western countries, for example, the Barcelona soccer team is a cooperative managed by their fan club, leading banks in Europe are cooperatives and so are the Orchestra of Berlin and many others.

A cooperative is an autonomous association of people voluntarily united in order to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled business enterprise.

The Central Union for Cooperative Initiative Ltd. was incorporated in 1933 as a cooperative. It was formerly known as The Central Union for Productivity, Transportation and Services, Central Cooperation Ltd. In 2008 the Central Union’s conference decided on changing the name so that it would reflect the transformation that occurred in the fields of the association of cooperatives that actually control every business initiative that is founded on a collective basis according to the cooperation’s principles.

The Central Union began its activity back in 1928, and was intended to focus on the economical and organizational-social areas, in light of the need for the establishment of one consolidating organization that will concentrate all support for the cooperative activity. The detailed historical background of the establishment of the Central Union may be found in the chapter A Piece of History.

The Central Union is a member of the international cooperation organization ICA INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATIVE ALLIANCE; since its establishment until today the Central Union has served as an umbrella organization for cooperatives that engage in various fields of the services and productivity industries such as: transportation, retail, printing, computerization, security, restaurant business and cleaning services, and practically every branch of business which is not of settlement nature, like a moshav or a kibbutz.

The Central Union is experienced in spreading the cooperative concept and in nurturing the cooperation values; within its activity as an umbrella organization, the Central Union assists cooperatives in their founding and incorporation stages, as well as subsequent to their incorporation as cooperatives.

The Central Union supports cooperatives and its activity spans a number of fields; some of the services are provided free of charge and some of them are provided for a small fee, which is determined according to the cooperative’s financial ability:

Assistance and support in the establishment of cooperatives:

information regarding assistance rendered by the Central Union to groups or individuals who own a business and are interested in establishing a cooperative may be found in the chapter How to Establish a Cooperative.

Promoting social and financial issues in order to improve the cooperative’s status and represent it in front of authorities and government ministries:

for example, representatives of the Central Union were recently active participants in the Knesset’s committees and discussions regarding the preference of products made in Israel, especially in the textile field, during a struggle conducted by the Mitspe Atsmaut cooperative that operates a sewing workshop producing uniforms for the IDF.

Financial aid:

Financial aid by financial advisors, as well as supporting new and old cooperatives with loans on easy terms, creating and nurturing relations with ministries and especially the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, associations, and other agencies that provide assistance for small and medium businesses.

Legal advice services:

Especially on the first year of foundation.

Accounting services:

By the Central Union’s accounting division.

Auditing services:

Are rendered by accountants of Brit Pikuach – MBT Consultants.