The National Co-op Challenge
An important part of being a co-op is connecting to other co-ops, supporting their success and encouraging them to grow. As part of our celebrations for 2012, the International Year of Co-operatives, we launched The National Co-op Challenge and donated $220,000 to give emerging and expanding co-ops a stronger voice in their communities and a chance to grow.
It was an opportunity for emerging co-ops to win valuable prizes aimed at growing their businesses. Along with increasing their exposure in their communities, participants won funding. One winner, Your Local Market Food Co-operative, also received a customized consultative services package on how to better market its products and services and a promotional video.
How did it work?
A panel of judges narrowed the list of entrants to 24 finalists. Each finalist produced a creative video up to 90-seconds in length that highlighted their co-op, showed their commitment and enthusiasm for co-op growth, and explained how they would use the funding. Each video was then available on Facebook, where co-op fans and the public could vote for their favourite to win.
Several chances to win
In total, there were 12 regional prizes distributed in four areas across the country: Ontario, West, Atlantic and Quebec. Three co-ops from each region received:
1st place: A $30,000 donation
2nd place: A $15,000 donation
3rd place: A $10,000 donation
Plus, all first place winners were entered into a random draw to declare one Grand Prize winner. They received consulting services, a resource package and a professional video shoot to create a promotional video for their co-op.
1st Prize: Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station Cooperative
2nd Prize: Lotus Co-operative Marketplace
3rd Prize: Coopérative La Bikery Co-operative
1st Prize: Coopérative de solidarité ECTO
2nd Prize: Coop Roue-Libre de l'Université Laval
3rd Prize: Nettoieprêt, coopérative de travailleurs
1st Prize and Grand Prize Winner: Your Local Market Co-operative
2nd Prize: La Siembra Co-operative
3rd Prize: West End Food Co-op
1st Prize:Good Food Junction Co-operative
2nd Prize: Cortes Natural Food Co-op
3rd Prize: Peg City Car Co-op Ltd