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Cooperative Development Services - Building Cooperatives

Before Incorporation

During this phase the Cooperative’s members explore the advantage and disadvantage to pursue a regular business. The group will identify the different challenges related to the business idea and the group commitment.

Every new business venture begins with an idea. It could be a new product or service, or an expansion of an existing one. Often the process to start a co-op begins with a group realizing they share a common challenge or need, or they perceive an opportunity of common interest.

At this stage the idea might be monitored by a few members that are known for their leadership. The idea to develop a Cooperative not a different business includes the sense of community participation in the accomplishment of the project.  

The question that very often comes first is how to regroup the interested participant or potential members into the project, so it is the first marketing challenge that the members face when they develop a common project.

The group works on the idea and finalizes the project goals and objectives and with the help of a business specialist the formula of a Cooperative including the value and respect of its seven principles will be discussed in realizing the project.

The pre-feasibility period explores the business idea potential and the group commitment to make the project happen. 

  1. The business assessment: reviews the originality of the idea and clarifies the nature of the needs that the business will cover, the skills needed to accomplish it, the potential profit for members, community and others, the cost estimated, the capital required and the regulations and policies managing the specific business
  2. The group assessment: the group leader should do the inventory of the different skills available and evaluate them to the business need: the leaderships capacities on how far they can mange as a group a business, the financial capacity to achieve their goals and the ability to find funds as known the Cooperatives are in lack of available funds. The most important assessment might be how the members can work together and act positively for a common goal
  3. The group leader explores The Cooperatives Act
The result of this assessment gives the co-op leaders the ability to determine primary needs in running a business and managing a group of owners. It’s time to hold a first meeting with a large group of potential members where the project leaders can present an overview of the project components and obtain feedback from interested parties.

Making members aware of the business idea and sharing knowledge and tips on the topic, the steps required for incorporation and the Cooperatives Act (part1) will help the co-op to build the volume of use report and the kind of services to maintain. The steering committee is ready for the next step after trust between members has been gained.

Contact Us:

Cooperative Development Services
Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade
250 - 240 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0J7

Phone: 204-724-2616
Fax: 204-948-1558
Toll-free: 1-866-479-6155

Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World

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