MANITOBA has been a co-op haven for decades, yet there has been little education about the co-operative sector.
That will change next year when the University of Winnipeg hires the province's first chair in co-operative enterprises, a position designed to strengthen the co-op movement and develop socially responsible entrepreneurs.
The position is being launched in collaboration with the province and the Manitoba co-op sector. An international search has begun and it's expected the successful candidate will start next July.
Unlike traditional for-profit businesses, co-ops serve the needs of their members, distribute profits to them and adhere to a democratic decision-making process.
Sylvie Albert, dean of the U of W's faculty of business and economics, said she is proud to pioneer the co-op program.
"The faculty prides itself as a boutique approach to education that is grounded in service to students and an experiential and multidisciplinary learning environment that is well-connected to industry and highly relevant to the realities of today's workforce," she said.
Garth Manness, president and CEO of the Credit Union Central of Manitoba, which oversees the province's credit union system, said he feels it's important for business schools to teach the co-operative model and for business students to learn about it.