$220,000 available to emerging Canadian co-ops
The Co-operators, Canada, has just launched a National Co-op Challenge, a social media contest in which emerging Canadian cooperatives can vie for a share of $220,000 in prize money. The Co-operators created the contest as a way of providing additional support to small expanding coops during 2012, the International Year of Cooperatives.
Eligible cooperatives’ applications will be evaluated and six finalists will be chosen from each of four regions, which cover all of Canada. These 24 coops will each produce a short video making their pitch, and Canadians will be invited to vote for their favourite on Facebook.
“Coops provide members with a meaningful voice in directing the organization, so it is fitting that the National Co-op Challenge provides Canadians with a say in deciding which enterprises will receive some of our financial support,” said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. “There are many emerging co-ops throughout the country that could put this funding to very good use. But it will be up to the voters to decide who will win.”
The top three vote-getters in each region will receive donations of $30,000, $15,000 and $10,000 from The Co-operators. A random draw from among the four regional winners will determine the Grand Prize winner, which will receive resources and consultation services to help promote and further develop their coop.
Eligible coops are encouraged to submit applications, which must be received by the September 7 deadline. For more details and to access the application form, please visit the National Co-op Challenge section of The Co-operators website at www.cooperators.ca/en/About-Us/foundation/national-coop-challenge.aspx.
The United Nations proclaimed 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, with the theme Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World. There are approximately 9,000 cooperatives and credit unions in Canada, employing an estimated 150,000 across the country.