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Cooperative Development Services - Building Cooperatives

Feasibility Study


The steering committee is ready to conduct a feasibility study but in some cases it’s hard for  the leaders to do it, so asking for help or hiring a consultant expert in the field conducted by the business is worthwhile for the success of the co-op business. The success of the Cooperative depends on the criteria given to the consultant and the needs matching the qualification of the expert.

The group leader might continually review the idea and the previous assessment for the project until they decide it is what they are looking for. The results of the feasibility study will become the cornerstone for many subsequent decisions. 

Ideally the feasibility study should be done by someone who is an industry expert and is independent from the potential co-op membership. Note: the cost of the feasibility study may be partially offset by government programs or other sources.

For the most part, development of a new co-op usually requires assistance from experienced outside resources, such as lawyers, accountants, community leaders and industry experts. These resources will help you to develop reasonable and appropriate organizational structures and sound business and financial plans.

The financial support programs usually require a contribution from the applicant, so for the Cooperative before starting to raise funds for the business duties the members will be required to make an up front financial contribution to cover the costs of the feasibility study and the legal duties which usually are not covered by the financial programs.

The results of the feasibility study will provide you with the information you need to assess the project’s potential for success and make a sound business decision. However, it is not a guarantee, and the decision to proceed with the venture and how best to go about it should rest with the potential members.

The steering committee comes up with the feasibility study led by a chosen leader representative of the potential members such as funding institutions, suppliers and customers meeting for more information and attempting to formulate the Cooperative business as the Cooperative is a community driven business.

The leader representative will be chosen for the following skills:  

  • An understanding of how co-ops function (administratively and financially)
  • An understanding of business development processes and practices
  • An understanding of the feasibility study process and the ability to interpret  its results
  • The ability to communicate effectively with potential members, suppliers and clients
  • The ability to build consensus with potential members
  • Credibility with potential members (i.e. may be a stakeholder)
  • Genuine enthusiasm for the project

These kinds of studies might be supported by the financial programs:

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Contact Us:

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

Phone: 204-726-7003
Fax: 204-948-1558
Toll-free: 1-866-479-6155
Email: co-ops@gov.mb.ca

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