Cooperatives Belong to Everyone. In many ways a cooperative is like any other business; but in several important ways it's unique and different. A cooperative business belongs to the people who use it—people who have organized to provide themselves with the goods and services they need. These member-owners share equally in the control of their cooperative. They meet at regular intervals, hear detailed reports, and elect directors from among themselves. The directors, in turn, hire management to handle the day-to-day affairs of the cooperative in a way that services the members' interests. Members invest in shares in the business to provide capital for a strong and efficient operation.