2015 Cooperative Developer Fellows

DAWI congratulates graduates of our 2015 Fellowship for Worker Cooperative Developers!

The Fellowship supports the creation of larger, networked and impactful worker cooperatives in the United States by building the skills, leadership and strategic orientation of practitioners. DAWI’s learning cohorts create strong communities of practice among peers and across generations of developers.

Here are the ten worker cooperative developers who completed DAWI’s year-long Fellowship:

DAWI Cooperative Developer Fellows Visit Winnepeg

The Democracy at Work Institute has created a fellowship program to support the current and next generation of worker cooperative development leaders and their organizations to engage with the question of scale: what does scale mean, how can coop developers incorporate approaches to scale in their work, what tools and relationships are needed to build scale?

Investing in Worker Ownership

For financial institutions looking to create deep and lasting impact, worker cooperatives are a powerful tool for economic and community development. They reduce inequality by allowing a greater segment of the population to build assets through business ownership. They combat poverty by providing access to employment for marginalized populations. And they strengthen local economies by rooting businesses in their communities.

Worker Cooperatives in Focus

On April 23, worker cooperative leaders from around the country will convene in Denver for Worker Cooperatives in Focus, a day of events co-hosted by the Democracy at Work Institute and the National Center for Employee Ownership. This exciting event will address a range of cooperative development topics centered on bringing the worker cooperative movement to scale, including cooperative ownership transitions, capital access, and the intersection of worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Successful Cooperative Ownership Transitions: Case Studies on the Conversion of Privately Held Businesses to Worker Cooperatives

The idea of selling a business to its employees and converting it to a worker owned cooperative is gaining traction as a viable succession strategy. It is a strategy that saves jobs, builds community wealth, and empowers workers to own and manage their own business. Worker cooperatives differ from other business entity types in that they are owned and democratically controlled by their workers, and workers share in the risk and reward of operating the business.

Moving Past the “Tale of Two Cities”: New York City Enacts First Pro-Worker Cooperative City Legislation in the United States

On March 18, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio continued his public support of worker cooperatives as a tool to address economic inequality, signing into law the first ever piece of city legislation to require a city's economic development arm to track municipal support of worker cooperatives. This bill is another highlight in a campaign by the New York City Worker Cooperative Coalition to increase city support for worker ownership. It follows a $1.2 million dollar investment last summer to fund the development of worker cooperatives, the largest to date by a city government.

US Worker Cooperatives: A State of the Sector

Worker cooperatives have increasingly drawn attention from the media, policy makers and academics in recent years. Individual cooperatives across the country have been highlighted, and substantive studies have been conducted of the worker cooperative experience in other countries, including Spain, Italy, France, Canada and Argentina. But what do we know about worker cooperatives in the US as a whole?