Co-operative Incubator

Program Description

The Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program will support five groups of three people in the Northeast Avalon Region of Newfoundland & Labrador interested in starting new co-operative enterprises to go from idea to incorporation in a robust 6-month long program. The primary aspects of the program are a schedule of Trainings and Workshops, Mentoring Teams, Coworking and Peer Support Opportunities, as well as Access to Funding.


Location: For the pilot of this program, municipalities included in the Northeast Avalon Region will be considered to be St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay South, Holyrood, Petty Harbour/Maddox Cove, Portugal Cove-St. Philips, Bell Island, Bauline, Pouch Cove, Flatrock, Torbay, Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, Bay Bulls and Witless Bay.


Cost: As this is a Pilot Program, in exchange for there being no cost, participants will be expected to provide ongoing feedback to help evaluate and iterate the program.


Time: Participants should expect to spend approximately an average of 4-6 hours per week on this program. All three members of each group will also be expected to be an active participant in all program activities.


Program Period: February 2024 – July 2024

Benefits/Services of the Program:

Training & Workshops

A schedule of training and workshops to assist groups through the development process, such as co-operative governance, financial management, and conflict resolution.

Mentoring Teams

Each group will be surrounded by a customized group of mentors who will work closely with them to evaluate progress, fill in gaps, and make connections.

Coworking & Peer Support

Opportunities to cowork in person will be made available to those participating in the program, as well as an online community space to interact throughout the program.

Access to Funding

Each group will receive an award of $5000 upon completion of the program, incorporation of the new co-op. Groups will also be assisted in the program with other funding and financing opportunities.

Meet the Participants

Viviana, Heidi, Allison

"Our group represents the NL Small-Scale Composting Network, involving 12 individuals from different parts of the province committed to making small-scale composting a reality in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our co-op will be a platform to share resources and services, including infrastructure, compost literacy, funding, and business development support."

Liam, Kimberly, Kelly Jane

"Women’s Fishing and Cultural Co-operative will focus a feminist lens on fishing knowledge, and the creative and community use of sustainably caught fish! We strive for 100% use of each fish while providing opportunities for youth, artists, entrepreneurs, tourists, and others who are experiencing barriers to commercial fishery access. "

Heather, Keely, Hillary

"We are a group of artists working together to form a co-operative that will support growth of interdisciplinary movement artists in St. John’s and surrounding areas. Our aim is to foster artistic development through training, workshops, performance, show development, research, and creation. "

Diana, Adrian, Mariana

"We are a group of newcomers leveraging our lived experience and the cooperative model to address newcomers' car insurance barriers in NL. Our approach includes a more inclusive and comprehensive risk assessment, ensuring affordability despite challenges with unrecognized international driving records. Committed to community sustainability and building a sense of belonging, our team fosters a supportive environment for newcomers."

Rebecca, Thomas, Po

"Killick Coast North Seniors Co-operative will be a non-profit community service co-operative. Volunteers will offer services to members helping them age well at home. Our NLFC pilot project team currently consists of eight residents of Pouch Cove, supported by many groups in the communities."

Support the Program

How can you get involved in creating the next generation of co-ops in Newfoundland & Labrador?

  • Facilitate an informational and interactive training or workshop on a topic relevant to starting new co-ops (for example, governance, strategic planning, social impact, team dynamics, community relations, and so much more)
  • Become a mentor to start-up co-op enterprises (for example, you are a co-op leader or developer, have any kind of industry expertise, are a business or economic development officer, are a community leader in any way, have financial or legal expertise, etc.)
  • Make suggestions for coworking spaces that we can offer to participants of the co-operative incubator pilot program in the Northeast Avalon Region of NL
  • Make a financial contribution/sponsorship to this project or offer support for participants to avail of funding or financing you are familiar with
  • Share this news and opportunity with your team, board, members, partners, clients, friends, and community!

Funders & Quotes

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Fund

Department of Industry, Energy and Technology

Regional Development Fund

Atlantic Credit Unions

“Co-operatives and credit unions are democratically controlled organizations focused on achieving common goals and supporting the economic and social well-being of the communities they serve. Deeply connected to their communities, co-operatives understand local economic realities and help create inclusive economies that benefit all. Guided by our values of fairness, honesty, and trust, credit unions share a commitment to helping build strong, vibrant communities. Collaborating on initiatives like the NLFC’s Co-operative Incubator Project strengthens the co-operative movement by fostering the growth, development, and success of new and emerging co-operative enterprises.” 

– Paul Masterson, President & CEO of Atlantic Central and League Savings and Mortgage
Atlantic Credit Unions

“When confronted by challenges as individuals, we might be tempted to despair. Yet through co-operative business philosophies – and the important lessons we learned during the pandemic about collective adaptability, agility, and resilience – our communities can face uncertainties together with strength. Co-operatives are guided by principles that include ‘co-operation among co-operatives’; meaning we work together to strengthen and grow our business model. Co-operators is proud to support the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Co-operatives Co-operative Incubator Project to build capacity and tap into the collective strength of our community to meet our own needs though growing the co-operative business model.” 

– John Harvie, Board Chairperson of Co-operators
Atlantic Credit Unions

“Co-operatives and credit unions are values-based organizations, uniquely positioned to meet the economic, social, and cultural needs of our communities and stakeholders. This is highlighted throughout our province, as we have seen a diverse range of co-operatives formed to fill gaps that are otherwise unsolved through traditional models. Atlantic Edge Credit Union (AECU) is proud to support the Co-operative Incubator Project through the NLFC, knowing that these newly emerging co-ops will continue to strengthen and empower our province and communities, providing ethical, sustainable value to all.”  

– Cory Munden, CEO of Atlantic Edge Credit Union

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Project Contact:

Kristen Murray, Project Specialist

Office: (709) 726 – 9434

Cell: (709) 697 – 5810

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