Thoughts and success stories

Audits: What’s involved and why you might need to do one

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, the holiday season — but it’s also time for co-ops to think about audits. Okay, maybe…

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Federal economic statement: what’s in it for co-ops?

Kyle White, one of our in-house policy experts, weighs in on the federal government’s 2018 economic update and what it means for co-ops. The Canadian…

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6 unexpected places you can find a co-op

Most people know grocery stores can be co-operatives. Some may have heard of daycare or housing co-ops. But the reality is the co-op model can…

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Getting guidance is good practice

“[Incorporating a co-op] was a process that really was not that difficult once we had some guidance.” – Maggie Bluewaters, the Food Forest and Learning…

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6 tips for marketing your co-operative difference

A few weeks ago, Co-operative News talked to marketing leaders from the co-op sector about marketing the co-operative difference. The responses both provide insight and…

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Retail grocery is hard — but not impossible

  The retail grocery business is hard. Large upfront capital costs for space and inventory. Small margins and stiff competition. The need for marketing, procurement,…

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A Story of Many Nations

In the late 90s, Joe Carter, Director of Education for Onion Lake First Nation, recognized First Nations had similar financial services needs to their non-Indigenous…

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The Common Share Podcast

Episode 12: The Backroad Diaries, with Sisan Fregene

Aasa and Kyle are joined in this episode by Sisan Fregene, who spent the summer working on The Backroad Diaries. This Co-operatives First project uses…

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Powering Rural Infrastructure through Co-operatives

  Previously we’ve talked about the important role co-operatives might play in succession planning for rural businesses as baby boomer business owners begin to retire….

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Episode 11: Fred Khonje’s Five Lessons about Co-op Development

Fred Khonje’s career has spanned the areas of community economic development, non-profit co-op housing, co-op and social enterprise business development, housing policy development, and social…

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Episode 10: a conversation with Dr. Brett Fairbairn

A conversation on the history of co-ops. Dr. Brett Fairbairn has been researching co-operatives for over 30 years; as a Fellow at the Centre for…

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The Common Share Podcast

Episode 9: Membership Engagement

In this episode, Kyle, Dan, and Aasa discuss what membership engagement looks like for co-operatives, given how many different types of co-ops – and different…

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3 essential ingredients in successful co-operative start-ups

At its most basic, every co-op needs a champion with a vision, a group with a shared interest and a market for the service or…

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A brief survey of Indigenous Co-ops in Canada

The co-operative business model has been relatively underutilized by Indigenous peoples in western Canada. Corporate structures and limited partnerships have more often been the go-to…

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The Common Share Podcast

Episode 8: Five ideas leveraging the co-op advantage

In this episode, Aasa sat down with Dr. Dionne Pohler to discuss her keynote speech from the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association’s 2018 conference. The keynote focused…

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Episode 7: The Importance of Board Diversity

In the last episode in our series on board governance, Audra, Kyle, and Aasa talk about the importance of board diversity. Having people with different…

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Saskatchewan’s Indigenous Chamber of Commerce

Saskatchewan is getting a new Chamber of Commerce. A group of Indigenous business leaders in Saskatchewan have formed this province’s first Indigenous Chamber of Commerce….

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Episode 6: Dealing with board conflict

In this episode, Audra, Kyle, and Aasa tackle what happens when things get contentious on a board. We discuss the kinds of board conflict directors…

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This innovative construction company is a co-op

In the construction sector there is plenty of room for inefficiency. Often one contractor will frame a building, another will wire it, someone else will…

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With Growth on the Horizon, Stocksy United Removes its Membership Cap

For the first time since inception in 2012, Stocksy United, an artist-owned photography + cinematography co-op run by some of the world’s best creatives and…

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The Common Share Podcast

Episode 5: Working board versus policy board

We dive right into the discussion of working vs policy board with a controversial question: Why do working boards suck? Being on a working board…

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