Co-op Survival Rates in Alberta
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This is the final report of the Alberta component of research that was conducted by the BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA), the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association (ACCA) and the British Columbia Co-operative Association (BCCA) on survival rates for newly incorporated co-operatives in both provinces and factors which influenced survival. The research found that co-ops experience significantly higher survival rates than other forms of business start-ups. For example, the three year survival rate for co-ops incorporated in 2005 and 2006 was 81.5% compared to 48% for conventional firms in Alberta. Key success factors identified by participants were: • Boards with the right skill sets which worked effectively together • Effective communications between board, staff, and members. • Realistic business plans • Engaged membership • Start-up and development capitalization • Acquiring needed expertise • Coordination of the multitude of developmental tasks • Mentorship. The report includes recommendations for ways to enhance support to co-operative development and survival.