Co-ops survive longer than other businesses: Canadian study

A new Canadian study has confirmed that new co-ops survive longer than other types of businesses.

A new study conducted in Canada's westernmost province of British Columbia confirms that co-operatives survive longer than other types of businesses.

The study, conducted by Carol Murray for the BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA), shows that between 2000 and 2010, 66.6 per cent of co-operatives were still operational five years after incorporation. In comparison, according to 1993 results from Industry Canada, 39.5 per cent of conventional business start-ups were still operating after five years.

The results of the BC research are similar to those of a 2008 Quebec study which showed a 64 per cent survival rate for co-operatives after five years of incorporation. 

The British Columbia research identified the following as key factors for the survival of successful co-operatives:

  • Acquisition of capital, strong financial planning and management;
  • Member engagement, board involvement and expertise;
  • Training and enlisting outside consultant expertise and support;
  • Business planning and clarity of purpose.

The study can be downloaded at


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