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:

  1. Establishing a working group
  2. Conducting a pre-feasibility study and confirming the viability of your business idea with potential co-op members
  3. Creating your business plan
  4. Raising capital and financing
  5. Getting to incorporation

Professional Services

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.