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Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (SEE) seeks to address Northern Ontario’s social and economic challenges by encouraging a movement of social enterprise and entrepreneurship that stresses community resilience, innovation, support and mobilization.
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Spotlight SeriesBlack River Co-operative
Interview with Mike Degagne, Founder Black River Co-operative
The Black River co-op is a burgeoning farming cooperative located in the quaint and picturesque town of Matheson, Ontario, 70 kilometres north of Timmins. They support knowledge-sharing around regenerative farming, protection of farmland, and community resilience.
By Sadaf Kazi, Social Enterprise Development, NORDIK Institute
What inspired you to start the Black River co-operative?
My wife and I started the Black River Co-operative with a farmer from Matheson who was looking for a succession plan. He is 71 years old. He had his farm that he cared for his entire life. He was driven to make sure that his land was available to young people who wanted to grow their food and have a sort of self-sufficient lifestyle, without going into massive amounts of debt. Before we met him, we were trying to figure out how to live our lives according to our environmental and social values. We met and figured out that a co-operative was the only financially viable way and time-effective way to reach our goals. Three years ago we got together with Bill and started talking about the co-operative.Read more