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The Co-operators launches the National Co-op Challenge

Aug 15, 2012

$220,000 available to emerging Canadian co-ops

GUELPH, ON, Aug. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, The Co-operators launched the National Co-op Challenge, a social media contest in which emerging Canadian co-operatives can vie for a share of $220,000 in prize money. The Co-operators created the contest as a way of providing additional support to small expanding co-ops during 2012, the International Year of Co-operatives.

Eligible co-operatives' applications will be evaluated and six finalists will be chosen from each of four regions, which cover the entire country. These 24 co-ops will each produce a short video making their pitch, and Canadians will be invited to vote for their favourite on Facebook.

"Co-ops provide members with a meaningful voice in directing the organization, so it is fitting that the National Co-op Challenge provides Canadians with a say in deciding which enterprises will receive some of our financial support," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "There are many emerging co-ops throughout the country that could put this funding to very good use. But it will be up to the voters to decide who will win."

The top three vote-getters in each region will receive donations of $30,000, $15,000 and $10,000 from The Co-operators. A random draw from among the four regional winners will determine the Grand Prize winner, which will receive resources and consultation services to help promote and further develop their co-op.

Eligible co-ops are encouraged to submit applications, which must be received by the September 7 deadline. For more details and to access the application form, please visit The National Co-op Challenge section of The Co-operators website at

The United Nations proclaimed 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, with the theme Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World. There are approximately 9,000 co-operatives and credit unions in Canada, employing an estimated 150,000 across the country.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $38 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit

SOURCE: The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

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