CWCF’s Worker Co-op Fund, the Tenacity Works Fund, is an investment fund whose purpose is to create new and to expand existing worker-owned co-operatives and multi-stakeholder co-operatives with substantial worker control. Tenacity Works has been owned and operated by the CWCF since its creation in the year 2000 after several years of sustained lobbying efforts with the federal government*. As a revolving loan fund, capital is used to invest in worker and multi-stakeholder co-ops, in all regions of Canada. The main purpose is to allow these co-operatives to leverage a Tenacity Works investment to obtain additional financing from others including financial institutions, private investors, the Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund, etc. CWCF’s Fund seeks to partner whenever possible with the significantly larger Canadian Co-operative Investment Fund (“CCIF”), which has a similar mandate to Tenacity Works and which CWCF worked diligently for 10 years (from the 2009 Congress of the Canadian Co-operative Association) to help incubate, and in which CWCF has committed to invest one-half of its Tenacity Works Fund. To date, Tenacity Works has approved more than 35 loans. Loans are available for amounts between $15,000 and $50,000. By contrast, CCIF has loans available for amounts from $50,000 to $1.25 million. In addition, CWCF can help cover the cost of consulting support to help the chances of success of worker co-operatives applying to either the Tenacity Works Fund or to CCIF, and strongly encourages co-ops to apply to our technical assistance program for small grants for this work.
All Tenacity Works investment decisions are made by the Fund Investment Committee. This Committee includes two CWCF Directors and three other members drawn from the co-op and credit union sectors in Canada. The committee members come with professional expertise in commercial lending, development investing, venture capital, and/or worker co-op development and management; currently as follows:
- Eric Tusz-King, Chair; CWCF Director, and member of Aster Group Consulting Co-op, Sackville, NB
- Yvonne Chiu, CWCF Director and Executive Director, Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, Edmonton
- Murray Livergant, CCEC Credit Union, Vancouver,
- Bernard Ndour, Carrefour BLE, with 10 years’ experience with Desjardins; Montreal, and
- Ms. Willy Robinson, recently retired from management of iNova Credit Union, Halifax.
The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation gratefully acknowledges the support of of the federal government’s Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), as it was called at the time, in the establishment of the Tenacity Works Fund.
See the following links for more information: