Singapore Co-op Movement

Making the Difference for Close to 100 Years
The Co-operative concept was introduced in Singapore as early as 1924 at a time when money lending was a roaring business. At that time, many low wage earners, who were struggling to make ends meet, were unable to turn to financial institutions or banks for financial relief in times of need.

The Straits Settlement Co-operative Societies Ordinance was passed in 1924 and came into force in 1925. The first thrift and loan society to be established was the Singapore Government Servants' Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society Ltd, which was registered on 7 October 1925, with 32 members.

Between 1925 and 1940, more people began to see the usefulness of the co-operative concept of self-help and mutual assistance. Altogether 43 thrift and loan societies were formed to cater to the needs of civil servants, teachers, custom officers as well as those working in the private sector.

The growing number of societies made it necessary to create a central organisation to enable co-ordination and collaboration. Thus on 16 November 1933 the Singapore Urban Co-operative Union Ltd was established. It was renamed Singapore Co-operative Union Ltd in July 1954 and later, Singapore National Co-operative Union Ltd in May 1972.

On 18 September 1980, SNCF was formed as the apex body of the co-operative movement. The Singapore National Co-operative Union assumed its new role as Singapore Amalgamated Services Co-operative Organisation Ltd in 1982 and became an affiliate of SNCF.

SNCF believes that Singaporeans can make the greatest difference to society and serve the rest of the community through the Co-operative Movement. 

About Our Logo

Empowering Communities
First conceptualised in 2022, the brand-new Singapore Co-operative Movement logo tips hats to the co-operative ecosystem’s fervour and resilience, while rejuvenating the movement’s identity in Singapore’s public mindshare and bringing different co-ops together to celebrate the movement and shared goals.
Brand Guideline
Logo Files

The two arrows replace the letters ‘A’ to represent the expansion of the Singapore Co-operative Movement. A set of three coloured circles that compose the ‘O’s in the words ‘co-operative’ and ‘movement’ represents how different parties within the Co-operative Movement come together and offer support to one another, allowing the Movement to advance as a whole.
The three vibrant colours in the logo personify the values of our co-operatives.

The red circle symbolises leadership and proactiveness which is imperative in initiating collaborative movements. In addition, it conveys the strength, energy, and passion that members possess and bring to their jobs.

The orange circle symbolises encouragement and confidence – characteristics that co-operative members demonstrate as they deliver good work in unity and render mutual support.

The green circle symbolises growth, as members collaborate to achieve greater heights. This colour also implies stability for the Co-operative Movement.
Brand Guideline
Logo Files

know our co-ops

Credit Co-operatives, or Thrift and loan societies, are co-operatives that encourage thrift by accepting deposits from members and assisting members with loans on reasonable terms. A thrift and loan society is an association of persons who are grappling with the same economic challenges and who join together on a basis of equal rights and obligations through a democratically controlled enterprise.

Majority of the credit co-operatives are work-based where employees of the organisation are recruited as members of the co-operative. As a form of staff benefits, organizations offer check-off system, which enable deductions of staff monthly salaries for contributions towards their subscription accounts and loan repayments with their co-operatives.

Today, credit co-operatives play an important role in upgrading the economic and social status of their members.

Objectives of the Credit Co-operatives

∙ Prevent permanent indebtedness of its members by enabling them to obtain loans on reasonable terms. Different types of loans are offered to members: personal loan, education loan, housing loan and travel loan;

∙ Encourage thrift, they offer savings and fixed deposit schemes to members at competitive interest rates

∙ Assist members to reduce the cost of living and improve their economic needs.

View the list of Credit Co-operatives here.

These co-ops, formed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), strive to harness its gamut of social enterprises to do good and meet the pressing social needs in areas like health and eldercare, childcare, daily essentials, cooked food and financial services. They are formed by the Labour Movement with the primary purpose of serving workers and their families. 

View the list of NTUC Co-operatives here. 

This Sector consists of co-operatives providing a wide range of services to their members. The types of services provided include environmental services, security, travel, aged care, management corporation and welfare. While business driven, service co-ops are anchored in their social mission to help Singaporeans and residents moderate the cost of living in Singapore.  

View the list of Service Co-operatives here. 

Campus co-ops operate on the campuses of schools, colleges, polytechnics, and universities. Through mentorships by teachers, campus co-ops offer students first-hand experience at running a social enterprise on economic and co-operative principles. 

Open to students, teachers, lecturers and staff of campuses based in Singapore, these co-ops provide a variety of services to their members such as the sale of books, stationery, IT services, sports goods, canteen services, travel and more. 

Objectives of the Campus Co-operatives  

  • Promote the economic interests of its members.  
  • Encourage thrift, co-operation, self-help and mutual assistance among its members.  
  • Promote and popularise the buying and selling of educational materials, consumer goods and services on a co-operative basis.  
  • Establish and operate such co-operative schemes, ventures or projects subject to the approval of the registrar.  
  • Develop entrepreneurial skills of members through exposure to various types of co-operative activities.  
  • Inculcate in members self-discipline, self-reliance, responsibility and accountability and to provide opportunities for total character development. 

Campus Co-operative as a co-curricular activity  

The educational values and experience gained by the students are recognised by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry has in fact endorsed the students' participation in campus co-op as a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA). Students who are involved in this activity can qualify for bonus points in the CCA Grading Scheme. The Education Ministry has also left the formation of such co-operatives to schools and colleges.  

View the list of Campus Co-operatives here.

Who we are

SNCF is the apex body of Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, and secretariat of the Central Co-operative Fund (CCF). Formed in 1980 with the aim of championing Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, the apex body represents majority of co-operative members in Singapore through its affiliated co-operatives.