Worker Cooperatives

The Working World

Providing investment capital and technical assistance to worker cooperatives in Argentina, Nicaragua, and the United States, The Working World has invested more than $2 million dollars to create long-lasting, wealth-creating jobs, including helping former Republic Windows in Chicago to create the “New Era Windows” worker cooperative.  The Working World ensures continued cooperative development through reinvesting returns in locally-based revolving loan funds.

Worker-Owners Cheer Creation of $1.2 Million Co-op Development Fund in NYC

Rebecca Burns
In These Times

In These Times talks to Hilary Abell, author of the Democracy Collaborative report "Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale," about New York City's move to invest $1.2 million in worker cooperatives.

Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty

Women stand to benefit the most from greater equity in and control of the workplace
Seattle‘s minimum wage ordinance is one step toward lessening inequality and poverty compounded by low-wage work. But there are still many challenges ahead. Cooperative development is one tool in the community wealth building strategy toolbox that can help lift low-wage workers, and especially women, out of poverty.

Small Island, Big Cooperative

Deer Isle, Maine becomes the home of one of the largest worker cooperatives in the US

Beloved for its charming landscapes and fresh lobster, the rural community of Deer Isle, Maine is now gaining attention in the cooperative world. When Verne and Sandra Seile, proprietors of Burnt Cove Market, V&S Variety and Pharmacy, and The Galley, decided to retire last year, they sold their businesses to their employees. Read more about Small Island, Big Cooperative...

Seizing the Moment

Catalyzing Big Growth for Worker Co-ops

In this piece, crossposted from Grassroots Economic Organizing, Hilary Abell summarizes the key conclusions of her recent Democracy Collaborative report, Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale, and discusses how her new initiative, Project Equity, will be working within the strategic framework advanced in the report to build support for worker cooperative  economic development in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Read more about Seizing the Moment...

The Cooperative Economy

Gar Alperovitz

Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz expands on his vision of a cooperative and community-sustaining economy with Editor Scott Gast of Orion magazine.

Southern Grassroots Economies

Informed by the Mondragón Worker Cooperative model and social justice movements, Southern Grassroots Economies aims to build democratic ownership in the U.S. South. Read more about Southern Grassroots Economies...

Trade unions and worker cooperatives: Where are we at?

Jose Orbaiceta, Bruno Dobrusin, Pierre Patry, Claude Dorion, Arildo Mota Lopes, João Antônio Felício, Léopold Beaulieu, Jean Bergevin, Pierre Laliberté, Marina Monaco, Luca Pastorelli, Rob Witherell and Stirling Smith

With overlapping histories and common goals of democratic organizing, trade unions and worker cooperatives are potentially natural partners in fostering inclusive economies. A recent issue of the International Journal of Labor Research showcases this emerging strategic alliance, providing case studies of joint initiatives in Latin American, East Africa, Canada, and the United States. The authors also consider the challenges of these partnerships and suggest solutions to overcome fractures between the movements.

Democratic Wealth: Building a Citizens' Economy

Joe Guinan, Marjorie Kelly and Thomas Hanna

Democracy Collaborative senior fellows Marjorie Kelly and Joe Guinan and senior researcher Thomas Hanna each contribute chapters to a new free e-book, Democratic Wealth: Building a Citizens' Economy. The authors discuss economic institutions, alternative economic system designs, and forms of democratic ownership. This open Democracy and Politics in Spires series, hosted by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, advances the conversation on visioning an economic system that serves the common good.

Evergreen Cooperatives Field Study

In its newest Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy, the Capital Institute outlines Cleveland’s Evergreen model and provides overviews of the three enterprises: Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Evergreen Energy Solutions, and Green City Growers. 

Capitalism Is Dying. It’ll Probably Go To Hell. But Something A Lot Better Is Taking Its Place.

Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz appeared in a featured video on Upworthy, where he reiterated the importance of local and democratic ownership as Read more about Capitalism Is Dying. It’ll Probably Go To Hell. But Something A Lot Better Is Taking Its Place....

Join us in DC for a talk on the history of African-American cooperatives

Special book launch event featuring scholar/activist Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Join us for a special book launch event on Tuesday, June 3rd to learn about the history of African American cooperative economics from a leading co-op scholar/activist, and hear local updates on ONE DC's Black Worker's Center and Impact Hub DC's worker cooperative incubator.

Who Needs a Boss?

Shaila Dewan

This New York Times article highlights the successes of worker-owned businesses, including Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives.

Community Investment in the Local Food System

Jonathon Ward, Margaret Christie, Addie Rose Holland, Dan Rosenberg, Jeff Rosen and Sam Stegman

CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) published a new case study on Real Pickles, an organic food business that raised half a million dollars through a community investment campaign to transition to worker ownership.

Sharing Revolution

Jessica Conrad

The recent rise of the commons and the sharing economy seems to suggest a growing recognition of the fact that our health, happiness, and security depend greatly on the planet and people around us.Sharing Revolution: The essential economics of the commons  highlights the many ways, new and old, that people connect and collaborate to advance the common good and develop greater economic autonomy.  The Cleveland model is also featured.

Florida Times-Union: "Leaders working toward 'brighter day' for Northwest Jacksonville's economy"

Beth Reese Cravey
Florida Times-Union

"A group of Jacksonville leaders trekked to snowy Cleveland in February to check out an economic initiative they hope to use as a model for the struggling northwest part of the city. The people behind that Cleveland initiative, a University of Maryland-based nonprofit called The Democracy Collaborative, held a roundtable in Jacksonville on Thursday and Friday to show a larger leadership group what is working in other cities. Local leaders collectively said they intend to follow through for Northwest Jacksonville, where unemployment is more than double that of the citywide rate."

Fifth Season Cooperative

 Founded by the Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA on a Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture (DATCP), Fifth Season Cooperative is a multi-stakeholder organization that focuses on producing, processing, and selling healthy local foods. Read more about Fifth Season Cooperative...

Rethinking Community Economic Development Beyond “Rent or Own”

Changing the ownership picture to build community wealth

Crossposted from Rooflines: The Shelterforce Blog

Although the notion of building wealth through home ownership has taken a beating in recent years due to the Great Recession, ownership more broadly is still seen as a key factor in building wealth. So says the Greenlining Institute. So finds a recent study authored by Thomas Shapiro and colleagues at Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy. Even the Housing and Economic Development Commission of the National Baptist Convention agrees.