Worker Cooperatives

Legacy Business: Our opportunity to build wealth, economy, and culture

National Urban League, Democracy at Work Institute and Citi Community Development

This new report from the National Urban League, the Democracy at Work Institute, and Citi Community Development discusses converting businesses to employee ownership as a critical strategy to sustain and scale black-owned or operated firms. Drawing from survey results and stakeholder convenings, the report highlights shared challenges and opportunities and found that an estimated 284,000 business owners of color are nearing retirement and that employee ownership conversion could help address challenges around access to capital and succession.

Democratising Ownership to Address Wealth Inequality

Ted Howard

The Democracy Collaborative's testimony to the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice on how to bring about a thoroughgoing democratisation of our political economy.

Workers to Owners: 2017 Annual Impact Report

Democracy at Work Institute

Published by the Democracy at Work Institute, this new report discusses the accomplishments of the first year of the Workers to Owners Collaborative, launched in 2016 to catalyze business conversions to cooperative ownership. Participating organizations collectively created 215 opportunities for new worker-owners and facilitated the transfer of over $8 million in business assets from retiring owners to employees.

Worker-Owned and Run Cooperative Network of Greater Boston (WORC’N)

Founded in 2002 to facilitate connections between existing co-ops, educate the public about the cooperative model, and encourage the creation of new worker-owned co-ops, the Worker-Owned and Run Cooperative Network of Greater Boston (WORC’N) is a network of worker-owned cooperatives, co-op developers, and those seeking to start new worker cooperatives.  The group now regularly runs Co-op 101 workshops, Peer Resource Groups, and social events.

Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston

Founded in 1978, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston aims to perform an innovative mix of classical and new music while reaching out to the community.  It is one of only four cooperative orchestras in the country, meaning that the conductor as well as its musicians decide what music to perform.  Through its Back to Classical program, its members provide free music lessons and concert tickets to inner-city students, many of whom have severe financial needs and/or learning disabilities.  The orchestra also provides more than 2,000 free and significantly discounted tickets on an annual basis to low-income, at-risk, disabled, and/or elderly individuals.

Dollars & Sense

Founded in 1974, Dollars & Sense is a non-hierarchical, collectively-run nonprofit organization that publishes economic news and analysis.  Its publications, which include a bi-monthly magazine and economic books, cover issues that are ignored by mainstream media, misunderstood by orthodox analysts, question the assumptions of traditional theories, and empower people to think about alternatives to the prevailing system.  The nonprofit also provides research and editorial support to educational institutions and other nonprofits on projects related to popular economics education, organizing, and activism.

Red Sun Press

Founded in 1973 by activists aspiring to create a full-service print shop that would support the movement for political and social change, Red Sun Press is a worker-owned union shop providing printing and graphic design services with a focus on serving nonprofits, socially responsible businesses, and government agencies that share its commitment to promoting a just and equitable society.  The cooperative also aims to be eco-friendly, relying on vegetable-based inks, offering high-recycled content paper, recycling its own paper and metal printing plates, and donating usable waste paper and out-of-date sample books to local schools and daycare centers.


Placetailor is a design, building, and development company committed to constructing high performance, energy-efficient buildings.  Completed projects range from custom, energy-efficient, urban homes to multi-family urban infill developments.  Currently in design is Mayflower Flats, which will be the first all-timber, Passive House-certified midrise construction on the East Coast.

Great Sky Solar

Great Sky Solar is Boston’s only worker-owned solar installation company.  The firm is also a social benefit corporation, meaning that it has three bottom lines:  people, profit, and planet.  It installs on both residential and commercial properties and is committed to using American-made materials that exceed environmental, safety, and labor standards.

Will Impact Investors Embrace Employee-Owned Companies?

Anne Field

Writing for Forbes, Anne Field takes a look at our new report exploring the impact investing landscape for employee ownership:

For social entrepreneurs concerned about growing income inequality in the U.S. and around the world, one way to spread the wealth is through employee ownership. With that in mind, you’d think impact investors would be clamoring to invest in such companies....

Read more about Fifty By Fifty's new report in Forbes...

Employee Ownership & Economic Well-Being

National Center For Employee Ownership

This report from the National Center for Employee Ownership synthesizes research on the impact of employee ownership on economic outcomes for young workers, ages 28-34. The authors find that compared to non-employee owners, these workers have higher household net wealth, higher median incomes, increased job stability, and greater access to benefits such as childcare, retirement plans, and tuition reimbursement.

Hacking the American Dream: Progressive Senators Go Big for Worker Ownership

Jessica Bonanno
Common Dreams

Two common-sense pieces of federal support for employee business ownership on the table...

The best-kept business model secret of our age is about to get the spotlight it has long deserved. It's employee ownership—a proven, common-sense pathway to reduce inequality, anchor jobs at home, and rebuild a strong and stable economy, using a vehicle that’s as American as apple pie: making entrepreneurs out of regular, working folks.

Democracy Collaborative's—Chief Financial Officer and Director of Employee Ownership Programs—Jessica Bonanno writes in Common Dreams about the benefits of employee more  

Democracy Collaborative In Left Forum

Between The Lines
Left Forum

At Left-Forum—co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative—Gar Alperovitz discusse building the Pluralist Commonwealth and "the Resitance" in 2017...listen here

Employee ownership can pay dividends for investors, too

Dennis Price
Impact Alpha

Investment opportunities in employee ownership are limited but emerging, says a new report from the Democracy Collaborative, authored by Mary Ann Beyster of the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

Impact Alpha cites "Impact investing and employee ownership" by Fifty by Fifty in it's article by about the profits of Employee here 

A Conversation on Employee and Community Ownership

Matt Cropp, Associate Director of Vermont Employee Ownership Center and Marjorie Kelly, Executive Vice President of Democracy Collaborative, discuss employee and community ownership, with a specific discussion of the Keep BT Local here