Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Heartland Credit Union

Based in Madison, Heartland Credit Union is a full-service, financial cooperative aiming to provide its members with quality, cost-effective financial services that contribute to their social and economic well-being.  With roots back to 1936, the credit union now serves 17,500 members in Southwestern Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa. Read more about Heartland Credit Union...

Dane County Credit Union (DCCU)

Dane County Credit Union (DCCU) is one of Madison’s largest locally-owned financial institutions, with nearly $140 million in assets and 15,236 members.  With a commitment to youth financial education, the credit union offers savings accounts designed for children and teens and provides a free financial education curriculum to area teachers.  The credit union also has a partnership with the nonprofit, GreenPath, Inc., through which it provides all DCCU members with free access to credit counseling, money management, and financial education services. Read more about Dane County Credit Union (DCCU)...

We Own It: A Guide to Worker Co-ops in NYC

Ingrid Haftel and Sandy Xu
The Center for Urban Pedagogy

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) teamed up with Sunset Park-based Center for Family Life, designer Amanda Buck, and illustrator Melissa Crowton to create We Own It, a fold-out poster that breaks down how worker co-ops work. Visuals and text in Spanish and English compare worker co-ops to typical businesses, explain the steps that go into starting or joining one, and show what a day on the job looks like for a worker-owner. 

Want to Hire a Worker-Owned Co-op? There’s an App for That

Michelle Stearn
Yes! Magazine

Originally published on, this article by The Democracy Collaborative's Michelle Stearn highlights the work of Si Se Puede!, the Robin Hood Foundation, and a Cornell Tech graduate student program, all of whom converged as a team to develop an app for worker cooperative bookings:

Rochester Mayor: Investing in Co-ops Builds “Stairway Out of Poverty”

Oscar Perry Abello
Next City

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announces an amazing city initiative to build community wealth. We've been working with the Rochester municipal government to develop a plan to uplift communities by investing in worker-owned businesses, inspired in part by the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland. As this article from Next City describes, the plan involves the creation of a community-owned and -operated "Market Driven Community Cooperatives Corporation" to oversee the effort.

What can Cleveland co-ops teach Rochester?

David Riley
Democrat & Chronicle

Our work in Rochester, New York is making waves to connect the cooperative movement across the U.S. as a tool to address poverty and democratize wealth. This article details some of the key lessons learned in Cleveland, OH, where the Evergreen Cooperatives have carved a path toward success. The Democracy Collaborative is now working with the Rochester City Government to develop a plan that addresses economic inequality from a systemic lens that includes cooperative development strategies:

Ujamaa Collective

Established in 2008, Ujamaa Collective aims to provide spaces, opportunities, networks, education, and support for women of African descent to grow as entrepreneurs, artisans, and servant-leaders.  The Collective encompasses a retail boutique, an entrepreneurship Preparation Program, an open-air marketplace, and agricultural initiatives, including a 15-acre urban farm in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library

Founded in 1974 by a group of parents who saw the need for an organization that could lend out toys, educate the community about the importance of play, and provide a place for children and their caregivers to play together, the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library is an all-volunteer cooperative play place and toy library focused on children aged 6 and younger.  The cooperative currently has over 150 member families and 400 toys.

Farmers' Market Cooperative of East Liberty

Established in 1941, Farmers' Market Cooperative of East Liberty is the oldest continuously operating market in western Pennsylvania.  Owned by the participating farmers, the Cooperative is a permanent indoor market, the only year-round market in the city, and one of the only sources of local, fresh meat and produce in winter months.

Energy Democracy: Namasté Solar, a profile in cooperative ownership

Jarrid Green
Center for Social Inclusion

Our Research Associate Jarrid Green authored this report, highlighting the successes of Namasté Solar in democratizing energy in Colorado:

Energy Democracy: Co-op Power, a profile in cooperative ownership

Jarrid Green
Center for Social Inclusion

Our Research Associate Jarrid Green explores how a consumer-owned cooperative approach can support multiple strategies to build energy democracy in this report.

U1 Credit Union

Founded in 1937, U1 Credit Union aims to create personal, community, and financial wellbeing.  As of 2015, it had over 50,000 members, nearly 100 employees, and over $391 million in total assets.  Based in Dayton, U1 also has 10 other branches across the region.

Fifth Street Brewpub

Fifth Street Brewpub is a member-owned brewery serving a wide range of beers as well as pub food made from fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients.  Incorporated in 2012 with 850 charter members, the co-op now has over 2,700 member-owners.  The co-op’s future plans include assisting with community development projects in its surrounding neighborhoods.

Can Worker-Owned Cooperatives Compete?

Sheilah Kast and Andrea Appleton
WYPR Baltimore

John Duda, Communications Director for the Democracy Collaborative and co-founder of Red Emma’s, a worker-owned coffee shop in Baltimore, joins Sheilah Kast and Andrea Appleton of Baltimore's WYPR Radio to discuss worker ownership in today's economy.

Workers to Owners 1-Day Seminar

April 11th, 2016
Hilton Minneapolis - 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

On April 11, our Executive Vice President & Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly will speak at this one day event hosted by Workers to Owners "to move the needle forward on an exciting trend in sustainable economic development: converting existing businesses to worker ownership." Read more about Workers to Owners 1-Day Seminar...

Intervale Community Farm (ICF)

Founded in 1990 to provide the greater Burlington community with affordable, high-quality, organic produce, the Intervale Community Farm (ICF) is a member-owned, CSA farm that serves around 500 member households.  In contrast to typical CSA farms, ICF is owned by interested CSA members through a consumer cooperative, and its farmers are hired workers.  While the farm now produces 9 months out of the year, it is in the process of repurposing a former compost site to extend its operations across all four seasons.  Its expansion will include a new greenhouse complex, expanded pick-your-own fields, and new storage and distribution facilities that can support a 12-month CSA share option.