A non-financial co-operative is a corporation that is legally incorporated under specific federal, provincial or territorial co-operative acts, and that is owned by an association of persons seeking to satisfy common needs, such as access to products or services, sale of products or services, or employment. Two-thirds (66.6%) of active non-financial co-operatives are consumer co-operatives, 16.1% are producer co-operatives, 9.4% are multi stakeholders, 6.6% are worker co-operatives, and 1.3% are federations.
Co-operatives maintain their impact on the Canadian economy
In 2018, there were a total of 5,846 active non-financial co-operatives in Canada. Quebec had the largest share of active co-operatives (44.4%), followed by Ontario (18.9%). In 2018, Canadian co-operatives generated $52.9 billion in total revenues, held $42.5 billion in total assets, employed 103,470 people and paid $2.4 billion in salaries and wages.
More than half of active non-financial co-operatives operated in the real estate and rental and leasing industries (33.4%), in wholesale and retail trade (14.5%), and in health care and social assistance (8.7%). In 2018, 52.1% of co-operatives were non-employers (0 employees), which were active and were run by unpaid members; 44.9% were small enterprises (1 to 99 employees); 2.5% were medium-sized enterprises (100 to 499 employees); and 0.4% were large enterprises (over 500 employees). Non-profits make up about 63.2% of all co-operatives.