The cooperative model, although prevalent in rural areas, has been somewhat limited to the agricultural sector. The predominance of cooperatives and their general success in a wide variety of businesses, however, points to greater potential for non-agricultural cooperatives in rural community development. To better understand the conditions under which non-agricultural cooperatives have played a successful role in rural development, fourteen innovative non-agricultural cooperative ventures across the US were studied in 2001. By virtue of the selection criteria, all fourteen case studies represent innovative, non-agricultural cooperative ventures serving rural communities. The case studies include cooperatives that have created new economic development ventures unrelated to their core business; cooperatives whose core business is an innovative approach to local economic development; and a set of cases that represent new opportunities for the cooperative model.