In 1752, Benjamin Franklin initiated the first successful cooperative in America, "The Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire.” 

By definition, a “Cooperative” or commonly known as a “co-op” is a firm owned, controlled, and operated by a group of users for their own benefit. Each member contributes equity capital, and shares in the control of the firm on the basis of one-member, one-vote principle

A cooperative is not based on the proportion to his or her equity contribution making the cooperative an equal opportunity, for all members. 

A cooperative, or co-op, buys and sells products or services just like any other business. The difference is a co-op is owned and governed by its members, the people who use it, rather than by stockholders. And, profits are reinvested in the co-op or distributed to its members.  

Typically, cooperatives adhere to a set of seven operating principles that guide how the business is run and how decisions are made. Today, there are nearly 40,000 cooperatives in the United States, with more than 100 million members. 

In nearly every part of the economy, people have joined together to do business more effectively or to get the products and services they need, whether those be from food to construction equipment to childcare to cars to hardware, through cooperatives. 

Surprisingly to many, below are only a few “brand names” which are actually cooperatives in the United States: 

  • Associated Press
  • Ocean Spray
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • ACE Hardware Corp
  • Old Dominion Electric
  • HealthPartners Inc
  • Whole Foods


For the first time ever, Empowery is a cooperative solely focused on the eCommerce industry. Collectively, eCommerce business owners are joining Empowery in order to strengthen their position, products, and leverage their company valuation. 

Together, members are influencing the online and eCommerce marketplaces with increased revenue growth. 

Contact us today to learn about how you can join Empowery, the only eCommerce Cooperative in the world!