Co-operative development is integral to the growth and sustainability of co-operative organizations and the co-operative movement. It enables new and emerging co-operative businesses to get off the ground, and provides existing and established co-operatives with tools and support to overcome their challenges and to succeed.

Many people recognize the tremendous social and economic value that a co-operative business provides to its member-owners and to the communities in which they exist. However, co-operatives can and often do face similar problems to traditional investor-driven firms, such as concentration, globalization, organizational and technical change, and the changing needs of clients/members.

Co-operatives also face unique challenges due to their specific nature as democratically-controlled organizations that provide equitable economic benefits to their members. To be successful, co-operatives must be competitive, while maintaining their special nature as businesses that are user-driven, democratically-owned and managed by their members. To be a successful co-operative, the right tools and information are required.

OCA offers business development support to those wanting to start a new co-operative, or to grow an existing co-operative. If you want to know any of the answers below, you've come to the right place!

  • Do you want to know if the co-operative model is the right one for your business idea?
  • Do you want to know how to incorporate your co-operative?
  • Are you interested in learning where you might be able to tap into funding for your business venture?
  • Do you need tools to effectively govern your new co-operative?
  • Do you want some pointers on how to expand, change, or revitalize your established co-operative?

Our online resources and training programs, as well as our personal advisory and consulting services, can help you build a better, stronger and more sustainable co-operative business