Four Criteria



Human beings, not market forces, as the true agents of economic development

The management of the Enterprise is in the hands of a person or persons – hereinafter 'the Entrepreneur' or 'Entrepreneurs' – striving to understand associative economics in a manner recognised by the Associative Economics Association.

The minimum requirement is to have taken part in the Colours of Money © seminar (or its equivalent) (Step 1) and to have completed (Step 2), the Colours of Money+ ©  process (or its equivalent).



Appropriate legal, financial, and management frameworks

The structure of the Enterprise is such that its existence as a legal person, the management of its activities, and the financing of its means of production are distinguished from each other in a manner recognised by the Association so that no one element has undue power over the other two. In particular:

  1. The aim and existence of the Enterprise are independent of both the providers of the finance for its means of production and of the views and opinions of its management.
  2. The financing of the means of production of the Enterprise is designed to guarantee its long term independence.
  3. The management of the Enterprise functions in a transparent manner and maintains a clear record of decisions taken.



Transparent and open books as common language and key to responsible change

  1. The accounting of the Enterprise is open and transparent both internally and externally.
  2. Based on double-entry bookkeeping, it is structured in terms of a universal framework defined by the Association so as to provide a common financial language for all Enterprises.
  3. Each Entrepreneur establishes a budget and maintains the bookkeeping and year-end forecasting for the Enterprise (or the part of the Enterprise) that he represents.
  4. In the event of an Enterprise having more than one Entrepreneur, the Entrepreneurs together establish a budget and maintain the bookkeeping and year-end forecasts for their Enterprise as a whole.
  5. In the same way, a budget is established and the bookkeeping and year-end forecasting maintained for each group of Enterprises that meets (see below).



Associative rather than competitive ways of working

  1. Independently of any trading or financial relationships, the Entrepreneur of an Enterprise and the Entrepreneurs of at least two other Enterprises hold a meeting of constant composition and on regular basis at a frequency agreed with the Association – hereinafter "the Meeting". The Meeting will be a real one; that is, the Entrepreneurs must be in the same room.
  2. The purpose of the Meeting is for the Entrepreneurs to share and comment on the economic situation of their respective Enterprises through the medium of budgets, management accounts, and year-end forecasts, as a basis for building a shared picture of their own and each others’ situations both individually and together.
  3. The year-end is the occasion of a similar Meeting, at which the aims and budgetary options of the Enterprises for the following year are likewise considered and made clear.
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