June 23, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CO-OP START-UP ORGANIZATION RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
The Saskatoon-based co-op start-up organization, Co-operatives First, has received this year’s John Logue ACE Award for its work in co-op education. Presented by the Association of Co-operative Educators (ACE) – an international organization of researchers, educators, developers – the award recognizes those “whose educational programs, technical assistance or research acts as a catalyst for change by creating innovative co-operatives.”
“We are very proud to be recognized for our work in co-op education,” said Audra Krueger, Co-operatives First’s Executive Director. “The Co-operatives First team is constantly developing innovative ways to increase awareness and understanding of the co-operative model. Our goal is to reach new audiences who don’t yet know how to benefit from this unique corporate structure.”
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) and the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) began funding the newly formed non-profit organization in 2015 because of a lack of awareness of the co-operative model in rural and Indigenous communities. After five years in operation, Co-operatives First has created an impressive suite of workshops, courses, articles, e-books, and other resources to help people learn about — and start — co-ops.
“Co-operatives First has made significant contributions to rural and Indigenous economic development in western Canada,” said Sheldon Stener, Co-operatives First’s board chair and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at FCL. “We have worked with nearly 150 groups looking to start a co-op and have brought valuable educational tools and resources to often hard-to-reach regions in new and exciting ways.”
Some of the achievements the award announcement highlighted were:
- Educating over 2000 people through online courses and workshops on governance and the co-operative model, including a course specifically designed for federal government employees and an accredited workshop for economic developers
- The YourWayTogether.ca website, workshop, and guidebook, which focus on how to form a co-operative on First Nations and suggests ways the model could benefit Indigenous communities
- TheBackRoadDiaries.ca video series, an annual road trip across western Canada by young storytellers that highlights the benefits and diversity of co-ops in rural and Indigenous communities across western Canada
Manager, Strategy and Communications, Co-operatives First
Co-operatives First is a non-profit organization funded by Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System. Founded in 2015, the organization provides co-op start-up resources, such as feasibility studies, business plans, and incorporation support to rural and Indigenous co-op entrepreneurs across western Canada. Our goal is to help leaders in these communities build new businesses, grow local economies, and support community development.
Learn more at CooperativesFirst.com
ACE is a membership organization that links educators, researchers, cooperative members, and cooperative developers across cooperative sectors and national borders to enhance cooperative development, strengthen cooperatives, promote professionalism and improve public understanding.
Learn more at ACE.coop