2017/09/10 13:55 Paul Cabaj, “Financing a Coop”, Disrupting the Disruptors

Workshop @chickweedpatch @CoopsCanada #platformcoop, platformcoop.ca/, Beeton Room, Toronto Public Library

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting,based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

[Paul Cabaj], Manager of Cooperative Development and Strategic Partnerships at Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada

Desjardins fund, Cooperators, should have $25M fund in October

  • Invest in coops
  • New fund, will probably be more risk-averse

Local investment coops, Solarshare, are TFSA eligible

  • If join in worker coop

If have relationships with regulations, can sometimes ask for one-time exemptions for something new

Describe financing pathways

Group discussion on financing a coop

Margaret:  Initial $1M loan, friendly

Russ:  Most businesses are funded on retained earnings

  • Startup coops are most challenged

Paul:  Often coops started with wealthy farmers

  • Can offer patient investment

Margaret:  Early Stocksy, lots of Bruce Livingstone, was a known name, now he’s just a board member

  • Now see Brianna more

Brian:  Bill Young:  Social Capital Partners. often leads and then others follow

AirBnB:  Loan for social enterprise for a loan on a platform

  • An EU coop is expensive, $30K, but then convenient for which regulation you want to apply under

SMart EU:  Started as a non-profit, so already had people receiving services over 20 years paying 30 Euros for capital

  • Don’t have public or private funding

Sean:  Coop funding is hard

  • There’s funding coming out of impact investing
  • Even within other parts of coop sector, not enough knowledge
  • There are credit unions, where employees don’t know they’re coop
  • Issue:  they’re saying, we don’t have a stream of investable options — could be wrong

Dionne:  Some pockets of money, depending on who it’s going to serve

  • Out west, working with indigenous communities
  • Sheo:  Female

Sean:  Opportunity for cooperative crowdfunding, but not yet used

  • Could be consumer coops, as peer to peer

Question:  As setting up businesses, overtaking an entire industry, or we’ll see what happens?

Margaret:  Wasn’t part of original Stocksy crew.

Evan:  Long term, we would like to replace them.  In the short term, we need to play nice when them.  Partnership, then fund for longer term value

Paul: If you knew then, what you knew now, how would you have done Twitter differently?

Evan:  In late 1990s, did startups, then did activist projects

  • Then decided we needed more capital, and less convergence
  • There was a point with Twitter was worth $1M, could have done something about that
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