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Ontario is a province where the values of the social and cooperative economy are lived and inspire.
Impact ON propels positive impact ideas, approaches and projects. We stimulate community development, connect talents, produce applied research and support the emergence and growth of mission-driven organizations, primarily cooperatives and social enterprises.
Our values include the primacy of people, valuing diversity, individual and collective responsibility, equity and solidarity.
True to our history, we adhere to an ethic based on honesty, transparency, social responsibility and sustainable development.
Impact ON is a non-profit social enterprise founded in Ontario in 1964. We work to ensure the promotion, development, management and innovation of mission- and impact-driven businesses, particularly social enterprises and cooperatives.
With our comprehensive, decentralized professional services offering, our highly qualified multilingual staff and our clear vision of creating a better world, we are today the leading organization in Ontario’s social, cooperative and community innovation sector and one of the leading in North America.
Impact ON was founded in 1964 as the Cooperation Council of Ontario, when French-speaking economic and community leaders, cooperatives and credit unions in Ontario decided to create a regional economic and social development organization.
By this time, Ontario’s French-speaking communities were already relying heavily on cooperative models and social entrepreneurship to empower, enrich and support each other – in short, to develop in a healthy and sustainable way. Particularly lively centers of cooperation existed in Welland, Pointe-aux-Roches, Penetanguishene, Sudbury, Timmins, Ottawa, Embrun and Hawkesbury. To this day, these regions remain key pillars of Ontario’s economic landscape, and are home to many important cooperatives and social enterprises.
There are several simple explanations for why Ontario’s Francophone communities have become fertile ground for cooperation and social entrepreneurship. Firstly, these communities had no choice but to band together, to form a common front, to preserve their linguistic and cultural particularities. Secondly, French-speaking communities have traditionally favored togetherness over individualism (as demonstrated to this day by the vigor of the social and cooperative economy in the French-speaking world). Last but not least, social and cooperative entrepreneurship enables the various initiatives that emerge from it to retain their roots and local governance. As a result, many of the flagship businesses in Ontario’s French-speaking community are now cooperatives or social enterprises.
Today, Impact ON leverages the expertise of Franco-Ontarian communities and historical know-how to further expand the space occupied by mission-driven businesses. The organization is a leading partner of the federal and provincial governments, several foundations and other entities in ensuring the sound and sustainable socio-economic development of all communities, with a view to creating a better world shaped by sustainability and positive impact. Impact ON is also a successful social enterprise, delivering services to the marketplace and measuring its own impact against the United Nations Development Goals (SDGs).
For more information on Impact ON’s history, please visit the University of Ottawa’s Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française, where some of our archives are kept.
Formerly the Cooperation Council of Ontario (CCO), we are now known as Impact ON. This name change reflects our ongoing commitment to promoting positive impact and sustainable development in Ontario’s francophone communities. Although our name has evolved, our mission remains unchanged: to support economic and social development, encourage cooperation and social entrepreneurship, and work in partnership with various entities for a better future. We are proud of our heritage and will continue to work with dedication for the well-being of our communities.
Our Board of Directors
Impact ON is governed by a 10-member volunteer Board of Directors representing all regions of Ontario, the Canadian province where our roots lie. Our directors are elected by our members at Annual General Meetings held each autumn.
Three seats are reserved for statutory members: one for Caisse populaire Alliance limitée, one for Caisse Desjardins Ontario Credit Union and one for The Co-operators Group.
Impact ON’s Board of Directors strives to respect parity as well as the geographic and diversity balance of Ontario’s major regions.
Secretary – Treasurer