Creating Connections

Expand your regional development toolbox

Economic development is changing, and homegrown solutions are playing a more prominent role in a region’s development strategy. Co-operative businesses can help with this strategy.

Creating Connections is a 3-hour online workshop. Designed for economic and business development professionals, participants in the workshop explore this unique corporate structure and how it can support their regional strategies. The workshop is practical, results-focused and delivered by experienced practitioners. Plus, this FREE course is EDAC accredited.

Our next workshop is December 7, 2021 at 1pm (CST)


Take this course to earn the following certifications:

  • Economic Developers Association of Canada: 2 points towards your Ec.D.
  • Economic Developers Association of Manitoba: One advanced elective (maintaining your Community Edge certification)
  • Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance: 2 points towards your P.CED and 1 hour towards maintaining your certification
  • Canadian Association of Management Consultants: 3 points towards maintaining your CMC certification

What you learn

Take this unique workshop to:

  • Identify where a co-op might fit in your community
  • Discover new opportunities for business development
  • Explore innovative solutions to investment readiness
  • Identify new business retention and expansion strategies
  • Increase local economic development, job creation, and growth


The Creating Connections workshop I took part in was so well laid out. It was full of great information and was very interactive! For any economic development department where a cooperative may be something that a group in your community is interested in, this workshop will give you the resources and tools you need to help them out! The staff at Cooperatives First is also always available if you have any questions along the way.” –Penny Schoonbaert, Community Economic Development Coordinator, Community Futures Heartland

The Co-operatives First Creating Connections workshop transformed the way that I think about co-operatives. The content and delivery of the workshop were engaging, informative and insightful, and provided me with information that I applied immediately to improve the quality of my consulting practice in ways that deliver lasting value for me, my colleagues, and my clients. I highly recommend this workshop to consultants seeking to improve their knowledge of the innovative co-operative business model and its impact on stakeholders.” –James Grieve CMC, CCXP, MBA, Catalyst Strategies

What others are saying

“Going to your seminar expanded my view of how businesses can be run beyond the typical business models. I enjoyed the workshop and came out of it seeing how my potential could increase the overall potential of a bigger community.” – University Student

“Kyle put on a fantastic workshop at Ambrose University that was informative, useful and practical. His facilitation was organic, engaging and relevant. Excited to see what other workshops they put on in the future!” – Non-profit employee

You may also be interested in our Good Governance Matters online governance course.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”