Worker Co-op Academy

The CWCF Worker Co-op Academy is an online training program that coaches start-up groups through the process of developing and launching their worker co-op enterprises in a supportive cohort, with the help of experienced co-op developers. 

This initiative is an English-language adaptation of Réseau COOP’s Parcours COOP worker co-op training and development program, available online in French for organizations based in Quebec.

Upcoming Program Intakes

Next cohort launches Fall 2025



Démarrez-vous une coopérative au Québec?
Veuillez postuler à la formation Parcours COOP du Réseau COOP

Starting a co-op in Quebec? Apply to Réseau COOP’s Parcours COOP

Program Content & Structure

The Worker Co-op Academy program is delivered by Russ Christianson.

Key topics

  • Enterprise concept, vision, mission, and value proposition
  • Co-operative Entrepreneurship
  • Collective Management
  • Marketing
  • Finances
  • Operations
  • Governance


The program is comprised of 14 workshops, scheduled approximately every 2 weeks over a period of 11 months (with breaks for holiday periods).

Each group also receives 20 hours of one-on-one coaching and draft document review by a professional co-op developer.


Time Commitment

Participating individuals should expect to commit approximately 5-7 hours to the program per week:

  • 2.5 hours per workshop session
  • reviewing supporting documents before each workshop
  • preparing guiding documents for their worker co-op enterprise: shared vision, market research, business plan, incorporation documents, etc.

Applications & Program Fees


Who Can Apply

Groups of entrepreneurs (minimum 3 members) who are looking to form either a worker co-op (enterprises owned by employees or contractors) or a multi-stakeholder co-op with substantial worker control.

Groups must have:

  • an established working relationship
  • a business concept that is ready for the business planning stage

Although the Academy is open to all, CWCF encourages applications by groups led by equity-deserving populations including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), youth, people with disabilities, women, and trans and non-binary people.  


Program Fees

$5,000 +G/HST per group

CWCF is offering bursaries for up to $4,000 +G/HST of this amount.
Final cost for most groups is $1,000 +G/HST. 

Support does not necessarily imply Vancity’s or other sponsors’ endorsement of this content