Co-ops’ performance in job creation and economic development in Canada is not theoretical. With growth three times that of the economy in general, job creation nearly five times higher, and a lifespan twice that of conventional companies, co-ops have repeatedly shown they are more sustainable than any other form of business. According to the Parliamentary Committee on Co-ops,

One cannot overlook the fact that during the recent market financial crisis, co-operative shares did not lose any value, since they are owned locally by the people who use their products and services and have a long-term commitment to ensuring the success of the business endeavours. The higher survival rate of co-operatives, relative to conventional private businesses, attests to the inherent resilience and stability of the co-operative sector. Survival rates of co-operative enterprises were 74.9 % after 3 years, 62% after 5 years and 44.3% after 10 years. For other forms of business, the rates were 48.2% after 3 years, 35% after 5 years and 19.5% after 10 years.[1]

Co-ops have a huge impact on the New Brunswick economy. In 2014, CECNB conducted an economic impact study on 138 of our co-ops in partnership with the Shannon School of Business at the University of Cape Breton. It revealed that these co-ops:

  • Generated nearly $1.35 billion in annual revenues

  • Created the equivalent of 7500 full time jobs

  • Contributed $500 million to GDP and $330 million in employment income[2]

In addition to co-ops, there are more than 550 social enterprises in New Brunswick. A comprehensive survey completed by CECNB in partnership Mount Royal and Simon Fraser universities in 2014 revealed that the average social enterprise in NB “employs 16.5 FTEs and generates $738,000 in annual revenues from the sale of goods or services”.[3] Based on these findings, the co-op and social enterprise sector is responsible for the creation of nearly 16,000 jobs in our province.



[1] Survey of Social Enterprises in New Brunswick, Mount Royal University, Simon Fraser University, and the Co-operative Enterprise Council, Oct 2014

[2] Status of Co-operatives in Canada: Report of the Special House of Commons Committee on Co-operatives, Sept 2012

[3] The Economic Impact of Co-operatives and Social Enterprises in New Brunswick, George Karaphillis, Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University, October 2014