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mexico storekeepers

Storekeepers in Mexico benefit from a strong credit union serving their business’ financial needs.

About CLARITY

The Cooperative Law and Regulation Initiative, CLARITY, was created in 2005 by the members of the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

CLARITY grew from the shared experiences and convictions of OCDC’s members that outmoded legal systems were barriers to cooperative development in many parts of the world.

The goal of CLARITY is to support cooperative movements as they analyze and change legal and regulatory environments.  The result?  To create an environment that enables cooperative businesses to flourish.

Barriers to cooperative development

In the past, governments in many countries adopted cooperative laws that permitted them to dominate co-op enterprises:  appointing leaders, directing business decisions, signing contracts.

Over the past half century, decolonization and the fall of the Soviet Union undermined support for state-run businesses. But the laws regulating cooperatives have been slow to change. Groups that could benefit from cooperatives have found it difficult to start them, and existing co-ops have found their growth and opportunities stunted.

Building on established principles for cooperative development, CLARITY promotes cooperatives as independent entities governed by their members.  It strives to help those working to change restrictive cooperative laws and regulations, especially in developing countries.