Thoughts and success stories

How newcomers are using co-ops to succeed in Canada

For newcomers, barriers to well-being can be bigger and more complex than for much of the Canadian-born population. Newcomers often experience isolation when they arrive…

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New Podcast: What makes a co-op?

In this episode, Kyle, Dan, and Aasa discuss the different definitions of co-operatives, the seven co-operative principles, and the ways co-ops are different from other…

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8 To-Dos When Naming a Co-operative

Coming up with a name for your co-operative can be one of the more enjoyable parts of the ‘noinky bits’ of incorporating a co-operative. The…

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Introducing The Common Share Podcast

In this episode, we interview Kyle White, Education and Engagement Lead for Co-operatives First, to discuss the purpose of the podcast, what his role is…

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Trust, Technology and Credit Unions: an interview with Eric Dillon

“Trust is perhaps the single most important underlying element of running a financial cooperative.” Eric Dillon, CEO Conexus Credit Union Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and…

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3 Co-operative Options for the Financial Sector

The Co-operatives First team is regularly asked “what is a co-operative?” and many of our posts display various uses of the co-operative model to explore…

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Finding opportunity for self-determination in a “digital divide”

In today’s world, there’s no getting around it: socially and economically, communities need reliable, high-capacity internet, no matter how small or remote they are. Governments…

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3 themes in Budget 2018 impacting Canadians today

The federal government has released its budget for fiscal year 2018, Equality and Growth: A Strong Middle Class. While many commentators, pundits, and partisans focus…

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Why diverse boards are rare and what to do about it

On a board of directors? At your next meeting, take a look around the table. Does everyone look and sound similar to you? If so,…

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5 to-dos when planning an AGM

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – AGM season! Co-operatives and credit unions will soon be issuing notices to shareholders and members of…

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How to become the most connected community in Canada

You might not expect to find the country’s best internet in a rural setting, but folks in Olds, Alberta play by their own rules. Nominated…

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Sex, succession and the co-op model

It’s Valentine’s Day. For some folks, this means a great deal. Others (no judgement) let it pass without bothering to note its peculiar significance in…

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10 things you often aren’t told when you become a board member

Set aside personal biases As a director, all the decisions you make at the board table should be in the best interest of the organization….

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How farmers benefit from ag equipment co-ops

Farming is expensive. The cost of the machinery and labour required to run a farm is daunting, and many farmers are having to take on…

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What it means to explore an opportunity

Opportunity costs Taking an opportunity from idea to reality requires time and resources. It also shuts the door on what might have been had you…

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Another 3 co-ops you probably didn’t know were co-ops

As we’ve noted in past blogs, co-operatives operate in all industries, often going unnoticed. Many co-operatives have recognizable brands, but do not necessarily tout their business…

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RedHat Co-operative: a producer co-op success story

For over 50 years, RedHat Co-operative has been supplying western Canada with fresh, greenhouse-grown vegetables. The name, RedHat, stems from the co-operative’s original shareholders’ greenhouses…

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Every co-op needs a champion

Co-operatives are, by definition, a group effort. But, like any new venture, co-ops need an entrepreneurial “champion” to push the vision forward. In Fraser Lake…

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Community Service Co-ops and Non-Profits – What’s the Difference?

Choosing the business model for a venture, even a non-profit one, should be based on practical reasons. But, spotting the difference between models is not…

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Top 5 Things Every New Co-op Needs

Co-operatives First’s Aasa Marshall with Marty Frost and Shellie Gleave in Fraser Lake, BC.   Marty Frost is an icon in the co-op sector. Through…

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How co-operatives measure up in charitable giving

Giving Tuesday is a global giving event that takes place every year just after American Thanksgiving. This year the project collected over 1.64 million gifts and…

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