Scaling the Development of Worker Cooperatives webinar (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (58 minutes, moderated panel, starting at about 2:15)
Worker-owned cooperatives are a powerful business model and community wealth-building strategy, providing high-quality jobs and enabling employees to increase their skills, income, and assets. In the recent economic crisis, employee-owned businesses and cooperatives have often proven more resilient than traditional businesses. Globally, an estimated 1 billion people are members of cooperatives and the United Nations has declared that co-ops could be the fastest-growing business model by the end of the decade.
In this webinar, get insight into how to scale the development of worker-owned co-ops in your place: how to build the capacity for this model within your community, how to train those creating or converting to shared ownership, how to impact policy, and influence or harness other factors in your ecosystem. We’ll look at two case studies of worker co-op incubators, including a city-backed co-op incubator in Buffalo, NY, and Project Equity’s new incubator helping low-wage workers convert to worker ownership models.
SPEAKERS: Andrew Delmonte, Certified Business Advisor & Social Enterprise Coordinator, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SUNY Buffalo State At the SBDC, Andrew provides specialized counseling services for social entrepreneurs in social business planning, financing strategies, Benefit Corporation and Cooperative Corporation filing, and social impact measurement and reporting. He is currently working on a new initiative in Buffalo, NY, to create a development center for worker-owned cooperatives, bringing together local economy experts, labor organizers, entrepreneurs, community development leaders, traditional economic development agencies, and city government in an unprecedented collaboration.
Hilary Abell, Co-Founder, Project Equity Hilary is a leading practitioner of worker co-op development, 2014 Echoing Green Fellow, and has more than 20 years of experience working in non-profits and cooperative businesses advancing co-op development, fair trade, and community empowerment. Before Project Equity’s launch in 2014, she was Executive Director for WAGES (Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security, now called Prospera) and a consultant with leading co-op initiatives around the country. She designed and delivered a training program for the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative in 2013, and in 2014 The Democracy Collaborative published her white paper, Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale.
MODERATOR: Steve Dubb, Special Projects Director, Democracy Collaborative In addition to authoring numerous Democracy Collaborative reports on shared ownership, community wealth building, anchor institution models, and more, Steve, along with Ted Howard, conducted the initial strategic planning that led to the development of the Evergreen Cooperative initiative in Cleveland, Ohio. He brings to this webinar two decades of experience and research in the cooperative sector and related fields. Steve is a 2014 BALLE Fellow.