Creating a co-operative business.

Looking to incorporate or create a new business or organization? Getting past the bureaucratic tap and understanding the proper steps to take can be frustrating and intimidating. 

Our Create products focus on getting you up and running in a way that is best for you.


This half day session will introduce your group to the online processes of incorporating a co-operative and developing the necessary incorporating documents. The Co-operatives First team will guide you through shaping your organization through articles of incorporation and engaging in preliminary discussions around bylaws and procedures.

Co-operatives First will provide templates to guide the exercise and direct you through the online platform for the actual incorporating process.

What you get

  • Workshop
  • Tools & templates
  • Drafted documents

Who should take advantage of this product

Any group looking to incorporate a new co-operative business, but that needs a hand with the tedious parts, like bylaws, procedures and articles of incorporation.


Good governance in a co-operative is essential for the success of the business. In a GGM Session, Co-operatives First facilitates a half-day session helping outline your organization’s governance structure and providing training for the first directors/steering committee. This training covers the fundamentals of a board of directors and its responsibilities in a co-operative.

This product is great for those groups looking for a better understanding of how policy and procedure works and its importance to the well-being of an organization.

What you get

  • Facilitated workshop
  • Governance structure
  • Board development
  • Access to online tools & resources

Who should take advantage of this product

  • New co-operative businesses
  • Groups forming new co-operative businesses

CO-OPS 101

Ensuring your co-op employees understand the co-operative business model and how the co-operative works will help them better understand governance and operations. This understanding can lead to stronger leadership, better engagement and increased loyalty. Understanding what makes a co-operative different may also be an important part of a strategy for communicating the business to clients. The CF team can build an understanding of co-operatives within your team, and equip your co-operative with job templates to help with on-boarding new team members.

What you get

  • Workshop
  • Tools & Resources

Who should take advantage of this product

Leaders of new co-ops and existing co-ops struggling with engagement and employee understanding of the co-operative business model


A first Shareholder/Member meeting is often the first time all shareholders of a co-operative will come together to discuss their business. This is a formal process and should follow guidelines set out in the organization’s bylaws and co-op legislation.

The Co-operatives First team can assist with the development of the agenda, preparation of resolutions and overall procedure for the event to help your meeting run smoothly.

What you get

  • Meeting support
  • Tools & resources

Who should take advantage of this product

Leaders of new co-ops about to undertake their First Shareholder Meeting


This workshop focuses on identifying options for groups seeking financial assistance for their co-op. The workshop can be customized to the size and sector of each co-op and will focus on four important concepts:

  • creating a budget,
  • selling share capital,
  • applying for grants, and
  • approaching a lender.

Groups who take this workshop gain a better understanding of their financial options and will work together to identify the amount and source of required capital.

What you get

  • Workshop
  • Tools & Resources

Who should take advantage of this product

Co-ops or groups looking to finance or refinance their enterprise or venture

Co-operatives First is a privately funded entity. We do not charge for our services and will do our best to limit any foreseen group or community costs related to our participation.