Co-operatives are a different kind of business model that are driven by people, planet and profit. The Ontario Co-operative Association (OCA) is the provincial trade association for Ontario’s 1,500+ English-speaking co-operatives. Their job is to ensure that people across the province understand the benefits and versatility of the co-operative business model, and to promote Ontario’s member-owned co-operative businesses that contribute $6 billion to the provincial economy.
OCA wants communities across Ontario to grow and thrive, and they believe that the co-operative model has a significant role to play in capturing opportunities for new business, creating stronger and more vibrant local economies, increasing community engagement and building a more sustainable social economy overall.
They support both new and established co-operative businesses, by providing them with support and services in the areas of business development, advocacy and education, and creating opportunities to unite, collaborate and celebrate as ONE voice and movement. By encouraging co-operatives to connect, work and act as a co-ordinated group, they strive to build a higher profile with the public, government and with each other.
By promoting and raising awareness of co-operatives in the province as well as supporting their development, OCA helps to improve the lives of Ontarians. Co-operatives enable people to set up the products and services that they need, provide jobs, and contribute to the social and economic well-being of the communities in which they reside, thereby providing a better standard of living overall. They believe in and exist to help build a better Ontario, and their membership is comprised of like-minded organizations whose support provides them with the resources to develop and strengthen the co-operative community.
OCA’s vision is an Ontario where co-operatives contribute to the sustainable growth and development of our communities, and to the overall social, economic and environmental well-being of the province.
Their core values are based on the relationships that they cultivate and the community that they serve. Their community is broadly based and includes their members, board directors, staff, partners, stakeholders, volunteers, affiliates, as well as government funding agencies and other national co-operative support organizations. They are highly committed to the values of people and community, education and innovation, collaboration and sustainability, and professional service.
You can find out more about the excellent work of this cooperative organisation here:
According to the International Co-operative Alliance, there are over 3 million self-identified cooperatives worldwide with 1 billion members, representing 12% of the world’s employed population. All Cooperatives verify their identity when selecting a .coop web address.