Not that even that is the oldest such kick-start, but in 1932, a group of Saskatchewan farmers got together to raise $32,000 to build an oil refinery, with the reward being cheaper gasoline and control over their fuel source. Last year, that refinery employed over a thousand people, and returned 650 million dollars to members of the 200+ western Canadian Co-ops that are part of Federated Cooperatives.

80th Birthday of the World's first cooperatively owned refinery
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