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A Cooperative Taxonomy: Building on the Strength of Community

By | Cooperatives Work, Social Enterprise | 5 Comments

The Cooperative Structure is StrongBuild on the strength of community with cooperatives

By now, you’ve probably seen on our site here that we’re a worker cooperative, which is a special kind of an organization. When you think about starting a business or organization, you have a number of different choices in what kind of form that an organization might take – and we chose cooperative for some solid reasons.

Importantly, we chose to build a cooperative to build on the strength of community. Co-ops, as organizations, are designed to build on the strength of community – they come out of communities, they meet community needs, and they do so through cooperative methods. You can’t build a co-op without a strong community.

Cooperatives are also strong organizations by design. When we draw what a co-op looks like – like the diagram above – we draw it in a triangle, because triangles are the strongest geometric shape. The strength of communities make co-ops the strongest kinds of organizations, too.

Here, I want to take you through the basic structure of a cooperative, and introduce you to the four main kinds of cooperatives. That way, you can learn about the different kinds of co-ops, and you can think about how you can build on the strength of community in your social enterprise. Read More

Community Investment Co-ops: putting your money to work locally

By | Cooperatives Work, Impact Investing, Social Enterprise, Social Impact | 2 Comments

Wind farms, coffee roasters, chocolates, and community investment co-opsJust Us! Coffee Roasters is a worker co-op supported by a community investment co-op

What do RRSPs, tax credits, wind farms, coffee roasters, and chocolates have in common? Well, in Nova Scotia, they’re all interrelated – and each one supports the other in powerful ways. In fact, Nova Scotia is leading Canada in doing something that the rest of the country should be doing – putting money to work locally. We can start in BC by building community investment cooperatives. Here’s how, and why. Read More

Incipe: Starting Our Co-op – Part 1

By | Cooperatives Work, Dare to Know: Sharing Research and Ideas | No Comments

Thinking of starting a co-op? Awesome.

Starting a co-op can be exciting and challenging, all at the same time.  That’s absolutely what we here at the Incipe Cooperative found when we started thinking about how we could work together on a common project for common benefit.  The excitement came from the combination of energy, passion, and ideas for a project that we could work together on, and the challenge came from the adventures in properly filling out the paperwork and sending in to the BC Corporate registry.

Incipe principal Kevin Harding is blogging our experiences in starting a cooperative enterprise in a series of posts. You can read the whole series here:

Here’s our story of how we did it.

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