BEDC to host co-operative pitch contest
A series of events designed to encourage the development of co-operative businesses in Bermuda has been announced by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.
An information session, a networking event, and a co-op power workshop, will precede the island’s first co-operative pitch competition, at which teams of three with a workable idea for a co-op business will compete for prizes including cash and start-up services.
The co-op pitch competition on March 11 will draw on both the Co-operatives UK event and BEDC’s popular Rocket Pitch competition, held annually in November.
Jonathan Starling, BEDC’s economic and co-operative development officer, said: “We have watched the successes of these events and feel that the same format can be used to propel co-op business ideas, too.”
The first event on January 29 from 6pm until 7pm is a co-op pitch information session in the BEDC office on Church Street, Hamilton. Organisers will provide a brief overview of the pitch competition and the power workshop that is a prerequisite for the competition.
On February 5, BEDC will collaborate with Wine Down Wednesday for a co-op networking event designed for millennials to mingle, ask questions and get inspired about the pitch competition. All are invited to join BEDC at Taste from 5pm until 9pm.
The three-part co-op power workshop will take place on February 12, 19 and 26 at the BEDC offices. The workshop provides an immersive learning opportunity to ensure that all pitch competition entrants know the foundations of a co-op and learn how it differs from a traditional business. The workshop will also explore the benefits of starting a co-op and the community impact opportunities, the BEDC said.
The BEDC said all are welcome at the workshop, including those who are not entering the pitch competition.
Three-person teams with a workable idea for a co-op business are eligible to compete in the pitch competition in three categories: Millennial Makers, teams of millennials eager to start a co-op; Sports Club Creators, for all sports clubs that would like to enter teams; Bermuda Open, for any team that would like to form a co-op and pitch their idea.
The winning first-place group will receive $5,000, the second-place group will receive $3,000 and the third-place group will receive $1,000, the BEDC said. The winning team will also have the opportunity to participate in the BEDC Enterprise Bermuda incubator programme.
To be eligible for the pitch competition, at least two members of a team must have participated in the three-part co-op power workshop, the BEDC said.
William Spriggs, director of economic and co-operative development at BEDC, said: “While the idea of co-operatives is not new to Bermuda, we want to get it out to a wider audience and increase adoption.”
He added: “We believe that the line-up of events that we have created here will help with that.”
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