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The Fredeen Lecture, December 18, 2019

The 2019 Fredeen Talk featured a presentation from the 2018 Fredeen Scholarship recipient, Qian Wan.

To Co-op or Not? Lessons from Canada for Developing Countries

There tends to be two divergent views about co-operatives. Co-op true believers say: “Co-ops are better than the profit-seeking firms.” Co-op skeptics say: “If co-ops are so good, why aren’t they the mainstream business model?” To the extent that these views influence policymakers, they can lead to either policy negligence or over-eager and inappropriate deployment of the co-operative model.

It is important therefore for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), co-op developers and policymakers to understand why and when it makes sense to deploy the co-op business model. In this talk, last year’s winner of the Fredeen scholarship, Qian Wan, presented a simple theoretical model and drawed on his experience with the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) to explore how and when it is appropriate to use the co-operative model in developing countries.

Presented by: Qian Wan

Qian Wan is the Co-operative Development Specialist at Co-operative Development Foundation Canada (CDF) and a PhD candidate in Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. Before joining CDF Canada, Qian was also a term instructor of Microeconomics at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. His research focuses on cooperatives development in rural China, strategic business planning for co-operatives, food sharing networks in Aboriginal communities in Canada, and the co-op legal framework. Qian holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in Assets Evaluation.

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