Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Case Studies: Business Conversions to Worker Cooperatives—Insights and Readiness Factors for Owners and Employees

Alison Lingane and Shannon Rieger

These 12 case studies explore the practical promises and pitfalls of converting existing businesses to worker cooperative ownership—a key strategy for building more democratic workplaces. 

Pogues Run Grocer

Opened in 2010, Pogues Run Grocer is full-service, natural products, member-owned store featuring affordable, fresh, healthy foods and locally produced goods.  The co-op strives to be environmentally and socially conscious by providing access to affordable healthy foods, operating under cooperative principles, supporting the local economy and food network, and minimizing its ecological footprint.  The 800-member organization is committed to education, and offers a range of discounted and free classes focused on topics such as cooking, gardening, and nutrition. Read more about Pogues Run Grocer...

Indiana Electric Cooperatives

Established in 1935, the Indianapolis-based Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC) was the first electric cooperative service organization created in the U.S.  Today, the enterprise supports 39 member electric cooperatives located across Indiana.  Its services aim to provide electric cooperatives the tools and resources they need to operate safely, efficiently and legally, and include job and safety training, advocacy and government relations, regulatory compliance support, and professional development training.  IEC also runs numerous programs for students to learn more about energy and the cooperative business model, including a youth energy summer camp.

Indiana Cooperative Development Center

Based in Indianapolis, the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) works to promote cooperatives as a vibrant model to address the economic and social needs of Indiana’s communities.  To do so, ICDC educates the public about the co-op model, identifies and shares information about best practices for cooperative organizations, and brings cooperatives together to network, collaborate, and participate in educational and training opportunities.  ICDC also provides free services, including strategic planning; market analysis; business plan development; board, management and staff training; and fundraising assistance, to all types of cooperative organizations.

NCBA CLUSA's 2015 Annual Conference

May 4th, 2015 to May 6th, 2015
Washington, D.C.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International 2015 Annual Conference will focus on advocacy, connecting conference attendees to elected officials and policymakers.  Read more about NCBA CLUSA's 2015 Annual Conference...

Scaling Up the Cooperative Movement

Thomas Hanna

How can we scale up the cooperative movement without losing our cooperative values?  That is the question contributors seek to answer in this collection of essays.  Contributors include Hilary Abell, Michael Johnson, Joe Guinan and Caitlin Quigley, along with contributing editors Thomas Hanna, Andrew McLeod and Len Krimerman.

VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative

Established to provide sustainable economic opportunities in urban agriculture after community members lost their jobs following the BP oil spill, VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative is a community owned and operated farmer’s cooperative based out of New Orleans East.  The cooperative’s goals are three-fold:  1) to increase local food access, beginning in New Orleans East, 2) to create quality and sustainable jobs, and 3) to promote sustainable growing practices through the use of aquaponics.  Today, the cooperative includes local farmers and fisherfolk, who sell their products to residents and res Read more about VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative...

Equitable Development in DC: Sustainability from Below

March 26th, 2015
Washington, DC

The conference, sponsored by ONE DC and George Washington University, will bring together residents of neighborhoods throughout Washington DC, organizers, students, scholars, elected officials, and others who are engaged in efforts to create sustainable equitable grassroots development, and more opportunites for wealth accumultion for residnets of traditionally underserved communties.  Read more about Equitable Development in DC: Sustainability from Below...

2015 Association of Cooperative Educators Institute

July 12th, 2015 to July 15th, 2015
Amherst, Massachusetts

The ACE Institute is an annual conference held by the Association of Cooperative Educators, a North American wide organization of cooperative researchers, educators, practitioners and developers with members predominately from the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The three-day event highlights innovations in cooperative education and development through lectures, workshops, roundtable discussions, and mobile learning sessions. Read more about 2015 Association of Cooperative Educators Institute...

City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year.

Crossposted from Rooflines, The Shelterforce blog.

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year. The amounts are modest, but the trend is clear—mayors and economic development leaders are beginning to add cooperatives and community wealth building to the economic development toolbox. Read more about City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops...

People’s Books Cooperative

When the owner of a local bookstore announced his retirement in 2007, dedicated customers, fearing the loss of a community institution, banded together to transform the store into a community-owned and cooperatively-run company, People’s Books Cooperative. Today, the co-op has hundreds of members and volunteers, and carries over 18,000 books. Read more about People’s Books Cooperative...

Riverwest Investment Cooperative

Founded in 2003 by several Riverwest residents hoping to create an investment vehicle through which people could participate in the development of their community, the Riverwest Investment Cooperative was the first cooperative of its kind in the nation. Read more about Riverwest Investment Cooperative...

Riverwest Co-op

Founded in 2001 with a mission to provide “food for people, not for profits,” Riverwest Co-op is a natural food store featuring nutritious, affordable food and organic, local and fair-trade products. In 2004, it added a café that sells vegetarian and vegan fare made with the co-op’s local, organic ingredients. Today, the Co-op has expanded to include over 3,000 members and over a hundred active volunteers. Read more about Riverwest Co-op...

Riverwest Public House Cooperative

Situated in Milwaukee’s Riverwest Neighborhood, the Riverwest Public House Cooperative is Wisconsin’s only co-op bar. Its mission is three-fold: to provide a welcoming social meeting place; to offer patrons a variety of affordable local, organic drinks; and to raise funds to propagate other cooperatives. The Cooperative has four decision-making bodies, including membership (patrons and neighbors), a Board of Directors, a Workers Collective (paid staff and volunteers), and Standing Committees, which each rely on a Consensus decision-making process. Read more about Riverwest Public House Cooperative...