New micro-learning course launched with $15,000 pitch competition in business support


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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, March 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Business development organization, Co-operatives First, is pleased to announce the launch of a new business development micro-learning course and a presentation contest for start-up cooperatives.

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This free online training called Introduction to Cooperatives is a self-directed boot camp for collaborating entrepreneurs unfamiliar with the legal structure of cooperatives.

“We designed the course to help entrepreneurs organize their new business,” says Audra Krueger, Managing Director of Co-operatives First. “So it’s a guide to taking a business idea from sketching on a whiteboard to investment readiness, but it’s also a crash course in the co-op model.”

Designed for busy go-getters, the course is available in short video portions so that those taking it can learn as they go. To celebrate the launch of this modular, self-paced and free course, the organization is also organizing a pitch competition.

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“Throughout April, we’re accepting referrals for start-up co-ops,” Krueger said. “If you team up with a startup, this is your chance to win $15,000 in startup support.”

To participate, groups must provide the organization with a short written presentation of their business idea. The price includes organizational design, feasibility or business planning, as well as training on incorporation and board governance. The contest is open to groups forming co-ops across Western Canada.

To learn more about the pitch course and competition, visit


Dan Matthews
Manager, Strategy and Communications for Co-operatives First

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Co-operatives First is a not-for-profit organization funded by Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System. Founded in 2015, the organization provides co-op start-up resources such as feasibility studies, business plans, online courses and incorporation support to rural and Indigenous entrepreneurs in Western Canada. Our goal is to help leaders in these communities create new businesses, grow local economies, and support community development.

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