A collective, a cooperative or a worker owned business just one of many types and names of one of the most democratic workplaces that are established today.
There are thousands of businesses that are run as collective: bakeries, creative agencies, contractor etc.
The most common features are:
- Voluntary and Open Membership: All people willing to accept membership responsibilities are welcome to use the cooperative’s services regardless of gender, socioeconomic class, race, or political or religious affiliations.
- Democratic Member Control: Members democratically control cooperatives, actively participating in the setting of policies and decision-making. Those serving in representative capacities are accountable to the membership, which is bestowed equal voting rights (one member, one vote).
- Member Economic Participation: All members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. Common uses of capital include further development of the cooperative, establishment of a reserve account, or benefits to member transactions with the cooperative. Budget surpluses are democratically allocated.
- Autonomy and Independence: Cooperatives are autonomous organizations controlled by their members. Any agreement with another entity, be it government, private or nonprofit, must be based on terms where members of the cooperative retain democratic independence.
- Education, Training and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, representatives, managers and employees to help them more effectively contribute to the development of the cooperative. They also educate the public at large about the benefits of cooperation.
- Support for Other Cooperatives: Cooperatives generally seek to link their efforts with other cooperatives, thereby spreading the cooperative movement and better serving their communities by pooling resources and services.
- Community Focus: Ultimately, cooperatives are dedicated to supporting the sustainable development of their communities through member-approved policies.
This list is part of a very good introduction-text.