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.

Applications are now OPEN
Apply by January 1st, 2024
Learn about Applications

Program Team

Meet the people driving the Pilot Program!

Kristen Murray

Project Specialist, NL Federation of Co-operatives

Hope Jamieson

Mentor, Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program

Kassie Drodge

Mentor, Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program

Stephanie Abbott-Trahey

Mentor, Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program

Malobi Elueme

Mentor, Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program

Julia Bloomquist

Mentor, Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program

What is a co-operative?

This may be a new concept to you, that’s totally okay!


Co-operatives are social enterprises that are owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realize their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.


As businesses driven by values, not just profit, co-operatives share principles and act together to build a better world through co-operation. Putting fairness, equality and social justice at the heart of the enterprise, co-operatives around the world are allowing people to work together to create sustainable enterprises that generate long-term jobs and prosperity.


Co-operatives are a flexible business model that can work for any group of people, in any sector, anywhere! 


Below are just a few examples of co-operatives, both locally and globally, that are addressing gaps and challenges:

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

“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 

“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

“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 

Press & Media

"NLFC Announces over $140,000 in Funding for Co-operative Incubator Pilot Program"

"Government of Canada Invests in Development and Growth of Co-operatives"

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Project Contact:

Kristen Murray, Project Specialist

Office: (709) 726 – 9434

Cell: (709) 697 – 5810

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