EKC is a Cooperative, Co-op, COOP (they are all are the same)

How do Credit Unions bring fairness to banking?

As a co-operative financial institution, EKC is owned and democratically directed by our 10.989 members. Unlike traditional banks we are not driven to make ever-increasing profits. We exist solely to meet the financial needs of our member-owners. It is, quite simply, a fairer method of banking that ensures that the needs of our member-owners are always placed above profit.

We welcome new members who may be looking for a better place to bank.

Your success is our success and we strive to find the best financial solutions for your needs. We offer a range of financial products and services including those offered by our subsidiaries, EKC MoneyWorks and Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS).

We also strengthen our community by providing jobs, keeping deposits by our members local as they in turn go back to members who need loans and mortgages.

As a financial cooperative profit are returned to members in the way of patronage rewards, dividends on shares accounts and donations to our communities to support social, cultural, environment, health and local economic initiatives.

Co-operatives Beyond Banking

The co-operative model exits in a variety of categories including housing, insurance, food service, health care and agriculture to name but a few.

These are the principles that guide our actions everyday:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
    Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

  1. Democratic Member Control
    Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner.

  1. Member Economic Participation
    Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

  1. Autonomy and Independence
    Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.

  1. Education, Training and Information
    Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

  1. Co-operation among Co-operatives
    Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

  1. Concern for Community
    Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

More information can be found:

Co-operative Business Succession

More than 40% of Canadian entrepreneurs will exit their business to retire in the next 5 years

*BDC 2017 Study

Many small business owners are looking to retire…it is estimated $3.7 trillion of small business assets will be transferred from 2013 to 2022

Have you considered a co-operative? (Cooperative, Co-op, COOP option – all are the same)

people in the community or people who work there, jointly purchase the business and continue offering its services

By using the co-operative business model, employees and/or community members improve their chances of success: working together eases the transition

  • ownership costs are shared
  • co-operatives are a proven model and a democratic legal entity
  • co-operative businesses not only succeed at a high rate, but succession is often sustainable
  • enables the retiring business owner to realize value from their business

How to Start a Co-op

Step 1: Assemble a group of interested people

  • identify the need the co-op will aim to meet
  • identify what professional help is needed
Step 2: Conduct a pre-feasibility study
Step 3: Hold an organizing meeting
Step 4: Conduct a viability study
Step 5: Organize the association
Step 6: Plan the operation of the enterprise
Step 7: Plan and organize the enterprise’s start-up financing
Step 8: Attend to all legal aspects of the enterprise’s operations
Step 9: Recruit and train the enterprise’s staff
Step 10: Hold the first general meeting

More Information:

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