Being a co-op means being part of a mutually supportive community that seeks to cultivate the values of sharing and mutual aid without borders. It’s also benefiting from access to advantageous financing from investment institutions and networks. Without capital, it’s difficult if not impossible to launch a business. One of the strengths of a co-operative network is therefore access to low-cost capital.
Generally, a financial institution is the primary source of a co-op’s financing. This institution may agree to offer a loan with guarantees, namely your capitals or assets. To be able to develop your co-operative and make it benefit the community, being able to have access to capital for launching your projects is therefore crucial.
For example, there are co-ops like the Fonds Essor Coop that can offer you financing up to $250,000 at a very advantageous rate compared to the rest of the industry. In addition, the investment from Fonds is combined with a plan that aims to accelerate the development of your co-operative for optimal development.
The Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund (CCIF) is another organization that helps co-ops and their financing. This innovative Fund strengthens Canadian communities by filling the funding gap for co-operatives. By providing independent funding to co-operatives or establishing partnerships with financial institutions, the CCIF’s mission is to contribute to the growth of Canadian co-operatives.
Lastly, the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports co-operatives with a social purpose that contribute to society, culture, and the environment across Canada. The goal of this program is helping social co-operatives and mutuals increase their ability to access financing that, through the Social Finance Fund, is on the rise in Canada. In addition, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada can facilitate access to this program to assist you in your financing efforts.
With the increase of co-op businesses, there are more and more ways to obtain financing for a co-operative. Don’t hesitate to contact financing specialists to assist in the development of your co-op.