August 7th, 2012

Cooperative Business Development Training with CooperationWorks!

SMCU is passionate about supporting and growing the cooperative movement. We believe that the cooperative business model provides an important alternative for consumers, especially those who may be underserved by traditional businesses.

In order to create a cooperative economy to benefit our community, we need more cooperative developers. CooperationWorks! provides excellent, intensive, professional training in cooperative economic development. This program is recommended for anyone who wants to develop the tools and skills needed to become a cooperative developer, whether as a main line of work or in conjunction with other work done in the co-op sector, the nonprofit sector, academia, government, or social enterprise.

The curriculum includes:

  • The key steps of effective cooperative business development
  • The unique attributes of cooperative finance, law, governance and management
  • The essential tools for group ownership in building long-term success

By the end of the program, participants will have what it takes to assist the development of a new co-op from inception to success. The greater the number of co-ops, the more the community benefits. It is a mission of SMCU to support the cooperative movement, and we encourage those who are interested in creating a cooperative business to apply for this highly-recommended program.

This program is split into three sessions, the first of which will take place September 17-21. Below is a breakdown of topics to be covered in each session.

Session One: Effective Cooperative Business Development for Practitioners

    • Cooperative History and Principles
    • Comparative Business Models
    • The Critical Steps of Co-op Development
    • Feasibility Analysis
    • Business Planning
    • Building Stakeholder Capacity
    • Governance and Oversight
    • Case Study Analysis

Session Two: Practitioners as Facilitators for Emerging Cooperative Businesses

    • Co-op Legal Structures and Taxation
    • Co-op Finance, Equity and Capitalization
    • Group Decision Making and Strategic Planning
    • Co-op Management Oversight
    • Keys to Achieving Operational Success

Session Three: Financial Analysis for New Cooperative Business

    • Components of financial analysis for start-up businesses
    • Financial success including liquidity, profitability and solvency
    • Revenue models, income statements, balance sheets and cash flow analysis
    • Financial projections and ratio analysis


More information on CooperationWorks! and the Cooperative Business Development Training Program can be found here.

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