Thoughts and success stories

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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What succession planning is and why it matters

Succession planning is how business leaders answer the question of how their business continues without key players, like owners and high performance or essential skill…

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mountain-colab

A catalyst for opportunity

The Mountain CoLab co-operative The nature of work is changing, and with it, the model of traditional office space. With the rise of the gig…

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The Common Share Podcast

Episode 4: Getting People Involved in Board Governance

This episode kicks off our four-part series on co-operative governance with Co-operatives First’s Executive Director Audra Krueger. Kyle, Aasa, and Audra talk about why people…

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5 ways to increase membership engagement

Most co-ops have, at some point or another, encountered difficulties getting their members involved in the organization. Low engagement can reveal itself in a variety…

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Engagement

What the heck is Membership Engagement

Defining member engagement for a specific organization is often tricky. It can also be hard to measure. But defining member engagement for your organization and…

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