Youth presence in Canadian co-operatives

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Southern New Hampshire University
Young people have been integrated into the Canadian co-operative movement throughout its history, through various programs, and to varying degrees. However the current succession challenges that face co-operatives and all types of business, increases the need for identifying and developing ways to integrate young Canadians into co-operatives, and to begin now. The objective of this project was to develop a community-based co-operative with a youth membership to deliver educational services about co-operatives to their peer groups. It was quickly realized that a more macro-level approach needed to be taken to create an environment for the involvement of young people. The involvement of young Canadian's in co-operatives was analyzed through three areas: education, employment and empowerment, all supported by research and youth input as being the most relevant areas for integration. Canadian co-operatives face additional obstacles for youth integration because the co-operative sector is not widely understood or promoted amongst much of the general public, therefore, this project also examines the role that can be played by the Canadian Co-operative Association, and the collaboration and ownership that must be take by all co-ops in Canada to ensure that values and contributions of co-operatives are not lost to Canadian communities. (Author abstract)