From Collective to Co-operative Entrepreneurship: The Co-operative Advantage for Community Development in Canada

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Vieta, Marcelo
Duguid, Fiona
Tarhan, M. Derya
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Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network
This presentation looks at why groups used the co-operative model—rather than investor-owned, private sector or non-profit organizational models—to meet the social, cultural, environmental, or economic needs of their members and communities. Specific research questions include: How have Canadian co-operatives sought to meet their members’ or communities’ social / cultural /economic / environmental needs via the co-operative model? .What advantages does the co-operative model facilitate for meeting members’ social/economic/cultural/environmental needs? What are the challenges faced in starting-up or further developing a co-operative initiative, and why and how do co-operatives succeed or fail in overcoming these challenges? What innovations have new or expanding co-operatives forged in order to offer both members and surrounding communities new or better ways of provisioning for their social/economic/cultural/environmental needs? Researchers found that: - The co-operative model is deliberately chosen across Canada to undertake social mission-driven business activities. - Co-operatives can be seen as the “organizational or business extension” of social movements. - The co-operative model is conducive to meeting social objectives through distributed entrepreneurship and multivocality.