What We Offer

Scope of operations:

- Providing resources & tools for women in the Agro-chain & food sector.
- Capacity building for Business Owners and Professionals to start, operationalize & scale their enterprises.
- Financial literacy education on credit worthiness, and how to access Capital.
- Provision of evidence-based market research, business analysis, and ESG consulting.
- Cooperative-based investment clubs and peer-to-peer lending circles for members.
- Facilitation of a Rotating Credit and Savings Association (ROSCA+) for members.
- Fostering a value-based community and marketplace, based on trust, social justice, equity, inclusion and solidarity.

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Investment Portfolio

Interested in becoming a member and/or investor? Check out some of our portfolio of investment options.

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Evidence-based Market Research

Go beyond anectodal evidence and informal data to evidence-based, data-driven research and reports.

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Current and Upcoming Projects

Explore our existing and future projects and programs across the globe.

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BWPW Co-op Global South

Investing in, and partnering with agro/food-based women-led cooperatives and entrepreneurs in African and Caribbean countries.

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Solidarity & Co-operative Economics.

An Overview and History of Black Cooperatives.

    • Canada’s hidden cooperative system: The legacy of the Black Banker Ladies. Black diaspora/immigrant women, known as Banker Ladies, lead solidarity economics through a form of mutual aid called Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs).
    • Drawing on ancient African traditions, this financial exchange system holds the key to financial inclusion, equity, social justice, dignity, wealth creation and making local economies serve the needs of everyone in the community
    • History of Cooperative Economics as popularized by W.E.B Dubois.
    • Exploring the intersection between Social Justice, Political Power, and Solidarity & Cooperative Economics

Our Programs & Services

Explore our unique range of programs and services tailored to Individuals, Organizations, and Investors.

Est. August 23, 2021

Black Women Professional Worker Co-op (BWPW Co-op) is a federal corporation entity registered with Corporations Canada.

110

Members

15

Expert Advisors

10

Projects Completed

Our Team

As a Worker Cooperative, BWPW Co-op members are both the workers and owners of the cooperative. There are also opportunities to join our team in different departments and capacities, either as volunteers or interns. Cooperative Values, Principles, Adaptability, Agility, Creativity, and Competencies of workers are core to our operations. Our hybrid matrix is centred on ongoing improvement, dynamic resource allocations and transferrable skills - Leadership competencies, Community competencies, and Technical & Functional competencies.

A Message from the Board of Directors.

A Happy New Year to the BWPW Co-op Community!

We ended 2021 on a great note, and we are excited about the possibilities and plans for 2022.

To all our worker-members, vendors, partners, investors, interns and volunteers, we wish to share our gratitude for your commitment to our joint success.

2022 promises to be a year for BWPW Co-op community to collaborate and unfold a bold vision, deepen our values and culture, share our mission and goals, develop well-formed strategies, with a disciplined yet flexible and adaptive approach to implementating, monitoring, (r)evaluating and improving our strategic plan.

As always, our people are the heart and engine of our operations. We look forward to co-creating value and achieving our bold goals for 2022. NO SISTER LEFT BEHIND!

Stay safe, healthy and empowered.

#SisterhoodSolidarity #CooperativeEconomics

Have some questions?

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. They are guided by the global cooperative values and principles.
A worker cooperative is a values-driven business that puts worker and community benefit at the core of its purpose. The two central characteristics of worker cooperatives are:

- Workers own the business and they participate in its financial success on the basis of their labor contribution to the cooperative.

- Workers have representation on and vote for the board of directors, adhering to the principle of one worker, one vote.

❝ROSCAS are at the very core of what we know as the solidarity social economy — the citizens sector. They are self-managed voluntary co-ops used around the world, and they are embedded in civil society. These cultural names for systems of mutual aid and collectivity — are known by academics as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, or ROSCAs.

ROSCAs are usually described in a local vernacular — Somali Ayuuto, Jamaican Partner, Indian Chit, Haitian Sol, Chinese Hui, Equub for Eritreans and Ethiopians and Tandas for people in Latin America. Or as Ajo, Osusu, Esusu, Sandooq, Chit or Arisan. These cultural names for systems of mutual aid and collectivity — are known by academics as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, or ROSCAs.

ROSCAs are hidden forms of co-operatives that Black and racialized people practise all over the world, including in Canada and United States.❞ — Professor Caroline Shenaz Hossein

An investment club refers to a group who pool their money to make investments. Usually, investment clubs are organized as partnerships or cooperatives — after the members study different investments, the group decides to buy or sell based on a majority vote of the members. In a worker cooperative, the principle one member, one vote is upheld.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is a popular alternative to traditional financing methods. It is the process of obtaining financing from other groups of individuals — as opposed to a financial intermediary like a bank, credit unions, credit cards, payday lenders. It is an effective way to build credit histiory and credit worthiness.

Canadian regulators have given the green light to P2P lending companies, which opened up the space for this alternative to traditional lending routes.

Peer lending has been around for about as long as banks have been denying loans to loan applicants (often blacks, indigenous, immigrants, and other marginalized demographics), and forcing those prospective borrowers to turn to people in their own communities or online lending circles, for alternative financing. #BlackEconomicTheory

Latest News

May 30, 2022

BWPW Co-op Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer With Our Cooperative!

Administrative Assistant and Workshop Coordinator Job Description The role of the Administrative Assistant and Workshop Coordinator involves working very closely with a team of instructors and another Administrative Assistant and Workshop Coordinator to provide live online and in-person workshops and to provide administrative support to the instructors/presenters for their...

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April 30, 2022

Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs: The Odlum Brown Forum Pitch Finale 2022

Are you a woman entrepreneur? Here’s something to inspire you! The Odlum Brown Forum Pitch Finale held some weeks ago on April 28, 2022. It had 2,000+ attendees who tuned in in-person and virtually to cheer for the Finalists and celebrate 20 years of impact with #TheForum for Women...

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April 18, 2022

Save The Date – May 14, 2022: Learn Your Rights! Black Workers’ Rights Event

A day to celebrate the organizing traditions in the Black community and support Black workers with workers’ rights advocacy and resources!   About this event In honour of the long tradition of Black workers organizing to improve rights for everyone: Join the Jamaican Canadian Association, the Public Service Alliance...

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April 11, 2022

Training & Events: Toronto World Trade Centre’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) for Women-led Businesses

Are you a women-owned or led business seeking to expand into new markets? Join the online information session by the Toronto World Trade Centre, on April 12th to find out more about TAP’s new cohort. Register: https://bit.ly/3LurIjr Learn how women entrepreneurs can accelerate growth and increase sales through exporting...

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March 30, 2022

EDC: Trade Barriers for Black-Owned and-Led businesses in Canada

Join Export Development Canada’s National Lead for Black Exporters in a discussion about the challenges of selling outside of Canada as a Black-owned business. Black exporter strategy consultations EDC is committed to helping Black-owned and -led businesses grow and expand into international markets. Research shows Black businesses face significant...

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March 15, 2022

Youth Entrepreneurship Guide – Government of Canada Resources

Introduction Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program Summer Company Junior Achievement Canada Source: http://sbs-spe.feddevontario.canada.ca/youth-entrepreneurship-guide Entrepreneurship can begin at any age. This guide will introduce you to the basics of starting a business, and highlight government programs available to young entrepreneurs in Ontario. To be eligible for youth entrepreneur programs you need...

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March 8, 2022

Canadian Women’s Foundation – Community Needs Grant.

Source: Canadian Women’s Foundation Community Needs Grants 2022 Deadline: March 21, 2022 at 5:00pm EDT The Canadian Women’s Foundation is now accepting proposals for Community Needs grants. Approximately 24 grants up to a maximum of $20,000 each will be selected. The aim of the Community Needs Grants is to...

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February 28, 2022

Despite Awareness, Black Women Entrepreneurs Remain Underfunded, by Tanya Hayles

Source: Globe and Mail | Follow them on Twitter: @globeandmail When Sarah Juma was starting her business, Innovate Inclusion, potential funders explicitly said her company would do better with a white man at the helm. “I’ve experienced people doubting that this is really my company,” says the founder of...

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February 15, 2022

A Black woman’s guide to venture-capital fundraising by Dominic-Madori Davis 

A Black woman’s guide to venture-capital fundraising: How to pitch investors, build a support network, and raise millions. By Dominic-Madori Davis | Culled from Business Insider Raising venture capital is a daunting experience for Black women. Before 2021, only 93 Black female founders had raised $1 million or more...

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February 8, 2022

New Black-owned Business Directory and Marketplace Launches in Canada

Source: Global News, Canada Nerissa Allen, president of the Black Business Association of BC, shares details of a new online directory, providing a platform for black-owned businesses.   It’s easier than ever to discover great Black-owned businesses in Canada thanks to a new national online directory and e-commerce marketplace....

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February 1, 2022

#FundingSolutions | Fair Finance Fund – Now Accepting Loan Applications for Local Food & Farm Businesses.

The Winter Intake for Fair Finance Fund is OPEN | Now Accepting Loan Applications – If you are looking for a Business loan from $20,000 to up to $200,000 for your mission-driven local food or farm business, visit http://fairfinancefund.org/apply.  Applications are now being accepted up until Friday, February 18th,...

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January 1, 2022

#SisterhoodSolidarity | Power in Unity: Meet the Kenyan Women Cooperative That Pooled Their Contributions to Build a 5-Storey Apartment.

Written by Samuel Abuya (Culled from African Global News). It is widely said, and agreed, that iron sharpens iron. This can be said of a Kenyan women group which pooled their cash to put up an apartment with at least 100 rooms and are now Landladies. This group from...

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