Co-op Development

Unleashing Local Capital in YOUR Community!

(administered by the Alberta Community & Co-operative Association)


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead



What is the Unleashing Local Capital program?

More importantly, what can it do for your local community?

Before we get into that, let’s set some things straight.

If you’re looking for grants, government hand-outs, and institutional gifts to keep your community alive, this program is not for you. If you want to sit on your duff and expect your municipality, regional economic development officer, or employees of a local organization to make your community thrive, this program is not for you.

This program is especially designed for you if you want to gather together with your trusted friends and neighbours, have a cup of … (your beverage of choice), and DECIDE to take ownership for the success of your community. The focus is economic, yet the social benefits for you and your community are immense.

The program is designed to support you to succeed in these areas:

  • spark economic development,
  • stimulate community autonomy,
  • create jobs,
  • support young entrepreneurs,
  • aid in business succession,
  • provide a reasonable rate of return to local member investors, and
  • provide a general sense of economic well-being.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

There is an art and a science to this. And if you’ve got a small group of dedicated, committed, community-minded people who are willing to work together, you’ve got everything required. The Unleashing Local Capital program will help you fast-track your projects by giving you the information and tools you need in your community to:

  • access local capital (including RRSPs),
  • evaluate local investment opportunities, and
  • make sound prudent investment decisions.

More than anything, the Unleashing Local Capital program is a local leadership model combined with a community-based financing mechanism to empower you to contribute to the long-term economic viability of your community. How?

Through the program, you will be supported to establish your own Opportunity Development Co-operative (ODC).

The Opportunity Development Co-op acts as an anchor organization to stimulate community economic revitalization. It connects viable business concepts with local entrepreneurs, and supports the union through a financial/equity contribution, mentorship, and business patronage.

No, you’re not going to be expected to go door to door selling cookies or raffle tickets to raise this capital. This is NOT a charitable venture where you’re asking for donations. And it is NOT a get-rich-quick scam. This is friendly, patient capital invested in a for-profit co-op. And it benefits your community in much bigger ways.

Through the Unleashing Local Capital program, you will be guided to invite your trusted friends, family, and close business associates to invest in the ODC with you, and to have some fun as you support viable businesses in your community that may otherwise be abandoned or lost. It is an investment in your community with the specific intent of providing you and your neighbours with a return on your collective investment.

Is there a risk? Yes.

Might you lose your money?  Absolutely that is possible, yet you will be guided to make prudent business decisions, and to create systems and processes that are safe and valued.

This program is innovative and creative.  It is about your community, your leadership, and success of your community.

Charles Mingus said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creative.”

So, what do you say?

Let’s be creative and have some fun!

Please call me at 780-785-9479 and I can share more information.  Me, or someone from the Alberta Community & Co-operative Association are honoured to come to your community to talk about this and to work with you in your community.

You’ll learn answers to these questions:

  • What is Unleashing Local Capital?
  • Where did it come from?
  • What are some success stories?
  • What can this do for you?

The Unleashing Local Capital program is administered by the Alberta Community & Co-operatives Association (ACCA) and their strategic partners: Athabasca University, Community Futures Network of Alberta, Alberta Business Family Institute, Le Conseil de Development Economique de l’Alberta, and Alberta Rural Development Network. The development of the program was funded largely by Rural Alberta Development Fund.


“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

-Thomas A. Edison