A new cooperative will require capital to begin operating successfully. The co-op’s steering committee, board, or organizers should examine the amount of capital needed to start the enterprise as well as the sources for capital, which might include member investment, debt financing, or other funding opportunities.
Co-op Start is a CoBank program designed to help boost emerging and existing small agricultural cooperatives through flexible financing, business mentoring, and training. The program is made possible by partnering with co-op development centers throughout the country.
Gary Weidenborner shares more information about the Co-op Start program from CoBank.
Various organizations provide useful templates that can help jump-start the co-op financial planning process.
- The CFAES Center for Cooperatives is available to assist groups with financial planning for new cooperative enterprises. The Center uses a Cooperative Finance Budget template to assist with the process.
- The Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) provides a template financial pro forma for worker-owned cooperatives through the organization’s Resource Library.
- The Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) provides a helpful template for calculating patronage for worker owners in a cooperative enterprise.