EVA Mobility Coop
= social franchise for cooperative mobility (platform cooperative alternative to Uber, based in Montreal)
URL = https://eva.coop/
BY JINHWAN KIM:
"Montréal based social venture EVA aspires to create a global Confederation of local mobility cooperatives. As it has two sides of coin of innovative service and the expansion of precarious labor, Uber creates dispute and conflict with the stakeholders of existing mobility industry everywhere it is introduced. In Korea, it is no surprising to see a street demonstration every weekend, but in Québec where street demonstration is observed not that often, demonstration of taxi union clearly brought attention to the controversy.Cars with UBER mark had to become targets of eggs thrown by angry taxi drivers 1.In civil society, precarious labor and other issues including the aversion of tax and safety regulations made people concerned about giving the permission to operate.
Given all the complaints and concerns, the Québec provincial government gave UBER only temporary permission to operate which was to be renewed every year. However, with the temporary permission, the usage of UBER grew rapidly in the market. In November 2015, number of the rides already reached 300,000 times in one year 2.
Uber continuously lobbied the government using user convenience and new job creation as supporting ground for their case. On 10th October 2019, after 5 years of operation under the temporary permit, UBER finally got the proper rights to operate under the 3 ” An Act respecting remunerated passenger transportation by automobile”, so-called bill 17.
Unusually long and intense mobilization against the permission to UBER didn’t succeed to prevent it to have permanent rights to operate in Québec, but something unprecedented happened in Québec.
Idea of EVA started around 2014, when there was heated debate whether to give UBER license to operate in Québec ©Lauriane Gervais-Courchesn
A birth of an organization, aspiring to become the global confederation of local mobility cooperatives, replacing UBER with a social economy alternative.
Idea of founding Eva cooperatives began in 2014 during the debate around UBER permission was on-going. Mr. Dardan Isufi, who has just finished his bachelor degree and the military service, and Mr. Raphael Gaudreault, who was working as software developer, exchanged ideas on the issue and came upon an idea of social economy alternative of UBER. After some period of preparation, EVA coop launched officially on 13th May, 2019." (http://cities-ess.org/topics/eva-coop/?lang=en)
BY JINHWAN KIM:
"In Eva’s business model, money stays local, user information is protected as it is encrypted with the decentralized blockchain technology, and drivers would be empowered and would have more security with the cooperative owned by themselves.
The strength of the cooperative business model for the local economy has been proven by many actual cases around the world, but when it comes to the global platform business, would it be still the case? How can we apply the cooperative spirit to the global platform business? Is it possible to be at the same time local and global?
Answer by Mr. Isufi shed the highlight on the dual legal entity model of EVA. To become global at the same time going local, the ‘social franchise’ idea was there from the beginning.
For now, EVA global plays role as social franchise headquarter, which support the foundation of local mobility cooperatives around the world. (Eval global was initially founded as non-profit but not it has been changed to stock ownership company to make it easier to attract investment in the future.)
(Dardan) Yes, EVA network consist of two legal entities. EVA Global, which owns the blockchain technology of mobility platform plays role as headquarter of social franchise. It supports the local groups around the world so they can build a local mobility cooperative. In Americas, Asia, and Africa, there are groups around the world interested in founding a mobility cooperative in partnership with EVA." http://cities-ess.org/topics/eva-coop/?lang=en
BY JINHWAN KIM:
"There are three type of cooperative members in one cooperative: 1) driver members, 2) rider members, and 3) worker members. Obligation and rights of cooperative members are as in the cooperative act of Canada and universal cooperative principles.
Installment of qualifying share payment in 20 times, 50 cents per usage was designed so the obligation of qualifying share wouldn’t work as entry barrier, but they all have same rights to represent themselves in the general assembly of members in making important decisions for the cooperative.
Whenever there is a surplus, it can be either distributed among members or invested for the future based on the resolution of the general assembly.
Then I became curious how Quebec ‘s unique social economic ecosystem helped during the process of development. How did they mobilize the funding? Who helped for what?
(Dardan) For the capitalization of two legal entities, the one for the coop was done first. For the EVA the cooperative, the phase 1 capitalization was concluded, and it succeeded to mobilize around CAD 700,000. As per the Eva Global, the process of capitalization is still on-going.
The list of financial institutions included Investissement Quebec (IQ), Réseau d’Investissement Social du Québec (RISQ), Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins. These financial institutions were providing favorable conditions tailored for enterprises in the start-up phases. Som e provided interest rates much lower than the market, delayed the payment of capital and interest (Congé de Capital).
Other than financial organizations, supporting organisations such as Conseil Québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM), Montréal small and medium business centre (PME Montréal), Coopérative de développement régional du Québec (CDRQ) have helped EVA to develop organizatoinal structure with grant, management consulting, other types of support.
Organizations such as Chantier économie sociale and Centre international de transfert d’innovations et de connaissances en économie sociale et solidaire (CITIES) was helping EVA in their effort to influence government departments and connected it with the right people and helped in various forms during their process of development." (http://cities-ess.org/topics/eva-coop/?lang=en)