Design

Your co-operative starts with good design

Co-ops need three things to be successful: the right people, solving the right problem, with the right business idea. Getting these things right will set you and your business on the path to success. That’s why all Co-operatives First supports start by ensuring your project has these key elements. 

In the early days of your project, it can be hard to know if you are going in the right direction. That’s where our team of experts comes in. We always start by listening and asking the right questions to make sure your business creates value for the people involved and is designed for success. 

If you want to start a co-op in Western Canada, we can support you. Here’s how it works:

  • Get in touch with us and let us know you’re interested.
  • We will follow up to schedule a 15-30 minute call.
  • Once we’ve verified you’re human and your project is in Western Canada, one of our expert advisors will set up an Exploring Opportunities workshop for your group.
  • Your group takes the workshop!
  • You get access to our follow-up tools and resources for co-operative start-ups.

You may also be interested in the tools and resources available on the Co-op Creator.

“Heather and the team at Co-operatives First are top-notch. Not only their knowledge but their understanding of the project. They have truly helped us along every step of the way. Their timely response and knowledge of the steps are extraordinary. They are forthcoming with information. This is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Weyburn Theatre

“Co-operatives First made the process of establishing our Artisan Co-operative a very clear and easy process. The expanse of available tools and resources provided by Co-operatives First answers many questions and lightens the workload. Greatly appreciate having the connections made with Trista and Kyle, they keep the co-operative moving forward.”

Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-op

“Our experience working with the Co-operatives First team was absolutely fabulous. The staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and patient. It was truly a breath of fresh air to have such a wealth of skill and resources available to a non-profit. They were invaluable to our successful launch!”

Heart Linked Community Services Cooperative

“Working with Co-operatives First was fantastic! We are still new to the cooperative world, and we relied heavily on their advice and expertise when drafting our rules/bylaws, and our memorandum of association. The team has experience with many different cooperative models, so they provided advice on what has and hasn’t worked for other cooperatives. We wouldn’t have been able to incorporate without their help!”

Ananda Cooperative

“We have had a very positive experience with everyone at Co-operatives First. They have helped us in multiple ways. Right from the first step in knowing how to incorporate, how to set our business and offering ideas for us to help steer us in the right direction plus allowing us to really make our own decisions. If our decisions go off track, they have gently guided us back to where we needed to be. The Co-operatives first guys are always eager to answer questions, and give ideas to us that got us off the ground.”

South East Butcher Block