BEDC to host business co-op workshop
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation is to host “Building Block One”, an introduction to business co-operatives workshop.
Facilitated by Rebecca Savoie, an international co-op ecosystem and business developer, the workshop will provide attendees with foundational co-op skills and business planning knowledge.
The introductory session is the first in a series of co-op development workshops that will build on each other over the next year. Anyone who attends all three workshops will receive additional support to beta test their co-op businesses.
The BEDC said a co-operative's members can be employees, producers or consumers who unite voluntarily to meet their economic, social and cultural needs through a jointly owned and democratically controlled for-profit enterprise.
Except for the Bermuda Credit Union, co-ops are still relatively new to Bermuda, the BEDC said.
By contrast, co-ops in the United States generate two million jobs annually, contribute $652 billion in annual sales and possess $3 trillion in assets.
Ninety-two million Americans turn to 7,500 credit unions — co-operatives — for their financial services, the BEDC said.
They can reduce inequality, create shared prosperity and help Bermuda to build back better from Covid-19, the BEDC said.
Jonathan Starling, BEDC's economic and co-operative development officer, said: “We continue to engage persons interested in co-ops and to develop the policy framework to assist new co-ops in flourishing.
“As part of the post-Covid recovery for Bermuda, co-op training and education programmes have restarted to aid in developing a vibrant co-op ecosystem in Bermuda. We are looking forward to hosting Dr Savoie and supporting workshop attendees with growing their co-op businesses."