Operate

Keep your co-op moving forward

Once your co-op is planned and incorporated, that’s when the real fun (and work) begins. This is when your board will develop policies and procedures, recruit members, create a budget, find funds, and hold meetings. 

For insight into all of these things and more, you can find resources on The Co-op Creator under “Up and Running”. You’ll find guidance, templates, and samples you can use and adapt to suit your own co-op’s goals and needs. 

For a new board that wants more hands-on training about their role, we offer the Board Basics Workshop. Our governance expert offers this 2-hour workshop to work personally with your co-op’s board on governance basics and challenges specific to your group.

And if your co-op wants to learn more about how to use communications and marketing to reach its audiences and make progress on its goals, sign up for our Communication for Co-ops workshop.

And for any questions your board has as you get started, our team is here to help. Contact us any time. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: We work in Canada’s western provinces. So, currently, we only offer services to co-operative businesses in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. If you are outside this region, you can still access our free resources on the Co-op Creator.

Testimonials

“Co-operatives First was instrumental in helping us get our Co-op off the ground. Co-operatives First took time to get to know what our Co-op is trying to do and has helped us from the start. Kyle, Aasa and their colleagues know about Co-ops and what the challenges are in starting one. They are patient, supportive and they know all about Co-ops. They have created a treasure trove of resources on their website to guide Co-ops thru all stages of the process. It is jam packed with information. They are also a group of people who clearly believe in the contribution Co-operatives make to communities and that generates trust. And that is why it is so easy to work with Co-operatives First.The Gathering Place Co-op started out as a small group of people with a big idea. A year and a half later, we are still a small group of people with a big idea…but we are now incorporated, have Bylaws and governance structure in place and our idea is taking shape. We are looking forward into the future. We would not be where we are without the help of Kyle, Aasa and the team at Co-operatives First.” – The Gathering Place Co-op

“Working with Co-operatives First has been an all around great experience. From idea conception, to finalizing incorporation Co-operatives First has been there to assist us every step of the way. Without their services and expertise, our co-operative would not be where it is at today. They make each step of the process simple, by providing support and have always been there to answer all the questions we have had… and there were many! I cannot recommend the services provided by Co-operatives First enough to anyone who is thinking about starting a co-operative. They make what could seem like a very daunting task extremely simple and manageable.” – Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Cooperative

“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