The P6 Project Uses the Principles of Cooperatives to Promote Local Business

Posted on December 29, 2016 by

This is a guest post by Erin Hancock of the Co-operative Management Education program at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Graduates of “Cooperative MBA” work on P6 project to create equitable relationships between farms and retailers

If you’re familiar with the principles of cooperative organizations, you may know that Principle Six is “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” which emphasizes the value of supporting, liaising with and lifting up other cooperatives. With the notion of mutual self-help in mind, this principle is a way of transforming the wider economy to create more thriving community-owned, democratically-controlled institutions that provide needed goods and services while respecting the planet and honoring people.

P6 is a project started by committed cooperators who want to better support small, local, cooperative businesses through a procurement, labeling and consumer education strategy (labeling items “P6” that met those criteria) that builds a more sustainable and equitable food system.  Students and graduates of the Saint Mary’s University Master of Management, Co-operatives and Credit Unions program have been a critical part of this initiative. Sean Doyle of Seward Cooperative and graduate of Saint Mary’s University is featured in this video showcasing the project:

If you are seeking graduate level education that combines business, community development and global economy, check out these online or in-person options offered by the Co-operative Management Education department at St. Mary’s University.

Online, Part-time Accredited Graduate Programs for Cooperative Business

The Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University (Eastern Canada) offers international management programs designed to provide the skills needed for exceptional cooperative management. Saint Mary’s University is known worldwide for top-quality business education, having been established in 1802 and the Sobey School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the highest standard of business education worldwide, Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and the European Foundation for Management Development.

Master of Management and Graduate Diploma Programs (offered online and includes a European study tour):

Designed for people currently in a leadership position or for those wanting to build a career in a cooperative organizations (from housing coops to worker coops), mutual or credit union, the programs are offered online and part-time. Students, faculty and researchers are drawn from around the globe, and from a diverse range of cooperatives, enriching the learning community with their experience. The Academic Director of the programs, Dr. Sonja Novkovic, also leads research in cooperatives through her role as the Chair for the International Cooperative Alliance’s Committee on Cooperative Research. Students embark on a 10-day study tour to Mondragón, Spain or Emilia-Romagna, Italy. A limited number of non-student study tour spots are also available.

-August 11 – 16, 2017: In-person orientation for Master’s & Diploma students, 2017 cohort, Halifax, Canada

-Accepting 25 distinguished candidates for the 2017 cohort

More information

In-person Cooperative Business Education:

Executive Education 3-day Intensive Courses – Enhancing Business Performance through Cooperative Management Practices: How to Strengthen Identity, Loyalty and Participation

  • March 1 – 3, 2017: Guelph, Canada, Hosted by The Cooperators
  • May 17 – 19, 2017: Manchester, UK, in partnership with the Cooperative College and Sheffield Hallam University and hosted by the Cooperative Group
  • Fall 2017 (Dates TBC): Vancouver, Canada

More information

Symposia – May 11 (evening) – 13, 2017:  2nd International Symposium on Accounting and Reporting: Cooperative Socio-economic Transformation, Halifax, Canada

More information

For more information on any of the programs, contact Erin Hancock at [email protected] or visit us at

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