About
Co-operatives First

Co-operatives First is a non-profit organization funded by Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System. Founded in 2015, the organization provides start-up resources, such as feasibility studies, business plans, online courses, and incorporation support to rural and Indigenous entrepreneurs across western Canada. Our goal is to help leaders in these communities build new businesses, grow local economies, and support community development.

News Stories

How to finance an Indigenous co-operative

Why incorporating early is important for an on-Nation co-op

Indigenous economies and co-ops, with Senator Marty Klyne

Your way, together

Webinar Series

Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs often find innovative solutions to challenges and creative ways to improve their economic and social wellbeing. Co-operatives have a role to play in this innovation, and the legal structure is an excellent option for groups or individuals hoping to work together to start a business.

These free one-hour webinars explore how a co-op might fit within an Indigenous community in a variety of industries and businesses. Join us in our next webinar to:

  • Discover new approaches to economic development
  • Identify opportunities for new businesses, job creation, and growth
  • Explore collaborative solutions to real problems
  • Connect with professionals that support Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs
  • Gain networking opportunities

Why a co-op?

Because it’s a different – and sometimes better – way to do business

Indigenous communities are growing. They are vibrant and actively exploring opportunities to develop, strengthen, and prosper. We believe this energy and curiosity will do and create innovations and businesses that will lead the world.

But Indigenous people won’t do it alone. They will do it together, together as individuals, and together as communities. Your way, together reflects this perspective and the history of Indigenous peoples working together to grow and thrive.

One way to work together is by using the co-operative model.