Cooperative Business Development
Cooperation gives small business a large reach. Talk to our experts to find out how.



Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC)



Our mission is to improve the economic condition of rural areas in Ohio and West Virginia through the development of all types of cooperative businesses and "cooperative like" groups. OCDC is a part of a business development, research, and extension education team at the Ohio State University South Centers, allowing the center to effectively provide comprehensive resources for new and emerging cooperatives in Ohio and West Virginia.


What is a cooperative?

A cooperative is a member owned and controlled business. Cooperatives are formed to benefit their members and distribute those benefits equitably across their membership. Cooperatives exist in many industries, including agriculture, food, finance, energy, and hardware and lumber.


Who can form a cooperative?

A compelling common need and a few leaders can spark the idea for a cooperative. A cooperative must have two or more individuals to legally form as a cooperative in Ohio and three or more individuals in West Virginia.

Why form a cooperative?

Cooperatives can be formed for a number of reasons including economic, social, or political ones, but above all are formed to serve members. People considering starting a cooperative should begin by asking, "Can we work better as a group than as individuals?"


Interested parties form cooperatives for a number of reasons, including:

  • To market a similar product
  • To provide comprehensive training for employees
  • To offer time-savings or cost-savings to customers or employees




Click here to download a Request for Consultation Services or go to the Ohio Small Business Development Center's website to submit your name, address, email, and phone number at the online Request for Consultation Services. If you have questions or need assistance, call 740-289-2071 x-227 or x-232.


The Ohio Cooperative Development Center is funded, in part, by an agreement between USDA Rural Development and The Ohio State University.  All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessary reflect the views of the USDA.