Welcome to the Unleashing Local Capital program!

This video will inspire you on the journey to develop an Opportunity Development Co-op in your community. It provides an overview of the course, and details what you can expect to see in each module.

Module 1: Define The Need

This module looks at the theory behind community change. It shows ways to apply visioning and asset-mapping to overcome factors that hinder change. You will revisit the work that you have completed here as you advance through this guide. As more people get involved in the project you will be drawing on more insights and different experiences; leading to a better understanding of the assets and investment opportunities in your community. This module helps to stay on track and remind you why you embarked on this adventure.

Module 2: Assemble The Champions

This module addresses the question: Who will lead? This module helps bring together a group of highly-trusted, capable, and motivated people from your community to form a champion team. You will be guided on what skills to look for in individuals, as well as explore different leadership styles, and how to maximize each person’s strengths. You will also learn how to frame your conversations to entice interest and commitment. Finally, this module covers the incorporation documents needed and how to name your Opportunity Development Co-operative.

Module 3: Incorporating Your Opportunity Development Co-operative

This module addresses the questions of “Why a co-operative?” and “How do we set up an Opportunity Development Co-operative (ODC)?”. You will learn how to move forward from an informal group to a legally registered entity. You will walk through the steps and legal documents required, co-operative values and principles, governance, tax benefits available. Make sure you work through the following modules before going to your lawyer to incorporate!

Module 4: Evaluating Business Opportunities

This module explains how to market your ODC to the business community and get them interested in seeking funding from you. It then discusses how to assess whether the business idea(s) presented to you, or those developed by the co-op itself, warrant investment. The first section reviews important factors to consider when investing in a local business. The second section examines key questions your team needs to ask before proceeding (such as debt or equity tools), and the tools used to evaluate.

Module 5: The Investment Process

You have chosen a promising local business venture and figured out the financing required to make it happen. Next, you need to sell a number of shares at a specific price to enable the ODC to meet the financial commitment made to the selected business. This module explains how to sell shares, discusses the tax rules and Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) regulations that are designed to make everyone aware of the risks involved with investing in your ODC. Finally, this module will explain how to complete the investment of the local capital in your chosen business venture.

Module 6: After Care

It is important to learn how to keep your ODC purring along over the long-term. That’s the issue this module is mostly about. Having done all this great work, you will now ask: How do we make it stick?

Lastly, strange as it seems, this is the time to start thinking about the next generation of ODC leaders. Your ODC is a business too. And throughout this guide, you’ve learned about ownership transition and succession planning. Now is the best time to start looking for, talking to, and developing the people who one day will sit in its driver’s seat and take the wheel of this machine you’ve designed and built.