"Our liquidity is trust, not cash": Credit Unions and the Rural Social Economy


  • Freya Kristensen Simon Fraser University
  • Sean Markey Simon Fraser University
  • Stewart E Perry Canadian Centre for Community Renewal


Rural communities in Canada currently face significant challenges associated with restructuring. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the role that social economy organizations (SEOs) may play in rural revitalization. Specifically, we propose that credit unions (CUs) represent significant assets to the development process. Our study reviewed eight rural CUs in British Columbia and Alberta in order to examine their role in local reinvestment. Our findings indicate that CUs possess social economy characteristics that hold potential as both sources of competitive advantage and resources for rural local development. However, limitations in capacity and awareness of the social economy prevent this potential from being effectively and strategically engaged. Keywords: credit union, local reinvestment, rural revitalization, social economy organizations

Author Biographies

Freya Kristensen, Simon Fraser University

Freya Kristensen is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University.

Sean Markey, Simon Fraser University

Sean Markey is an assistant professor with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University.

Stewart E Perry, Canadian Centre for Community Renewal

Stewart Perry is an associate at the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal (CCCR)







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