Starting a Co-op
Many co-operatives start as a seed of an idea for a new product or service to enhance the lives of people with specific interests, or who live in a particular community. With focus and the right information, advice and supports, that idea can transform and become a successful start-up co-op, and eventually, a thriving social enterprise.
The number one success factor cited by established co-ops in the BCCA’s Survival Rates report is reliance on expertise outside a co-op’s founding group. That’s where we come in. We have helped to develop and launch hundreds of co-ops in BC, and we can assist you too.
Co-op Education & Pre-development
Many steps are required before a new co-op is incorporated and ready to operate, and there’s a lot to consider in the early stages. The first step is understanding what the co-op business model is all about, and considering why starting a co-op is a good idea for your new business.
Our Cultivating Co-ops Guide is a how-to workbook designed to help emerging and existing co-ops work through the co-op development process. The guide provides checklists and templates to help you work through pre-development co-op activities, including:
- Establishing a working group
- Conducting a pre-feasibility study and confirming the viability of your business idea with potential co-op members
- Creating your business plan
- Raising capital and financing
- Getting to incorporation
Once your founding group has worked through the first step, the BCCA can assist you by providing free introductory consulting services with co-op professionals.
We can connect you with our network of passionate, experienced co-op developers and cover the costs of your initial one to two-hour consultation with one of our developers. With their expertise, you’ll be able to push through and work toward incorporating your co-op business and becoming operational.
Learn more about our membership, and consider becoming a BCCA member today.