Tools for Coop Developers

Resources for Coop Developers

Concept Paper: Asset Building through Cooperative Business Ownership: Defining and Measuring Cooperative Economic Wealth

Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Many cooperative studies scholars and co-op practitioners believe that successful cooperative businesses create wealth and help their members accumulate wealth and/or assets. Individual asset building or wealth accumulation is assumed to be an outcome from cooperative ownership, in addition to individual and community benefits such as job creation, education and training, income generation, affordable quality products, social capital development, and economic stability.

How Economic Democracy Impacts Workers, Firms, and Communities

Laura Hanson Schlachter, Olga Prushinskaya

How Economic Democracy Impacts Workers, Firms, and Communities  presents findings from a national survey of 1,147 workers in 82 worker cooperatives and follow-up interviews with 15 participants—the first national survey of its kind. This novel data, collected in 2017, allows us to explore the impact of workplace democracy on individuals, firms, and communities across the United States. It also provides important opportunities for future research about how worker cooperatives can promote resilience and racial equity in this moment.

Worker Co-ops: Weathering the Storm of COVID-19

Mo Manklang, Zen Trenholm, Olga Prushinskaya
In this moment of crisis, worker cooperatives are a reliable, proven solution to address the loss of jobs and income inequality.
COVID-19 has devastated the small business community, and the clock is ticking on permanent shutdowns of small businesses. 45 percent of businesses believe they have less than six months until a permanent shutdown is unavoidable. Tens of millions are still unemployed. Millions of Americans will fall off an “income cliff” when unemployment benefits end. 

Sustainable Economic Democracy: Worker Cooperatives for the 21st Century

Nicholas Luviene, Amy Stitely, Lorlene Hoyt
This guide explores the worker cooperative network as a neighborhood, municipal and regional strategy for generating wealth. It presents two examples: the well-established Mondragon Complex in Spain and the nascent Evergreen Cooperative Initiative in Cleveland Ohio. Drawing from these two cases the authors then put forth a general framework for building a scalable cooperative network in post-industrial American cities.

United States Federation of Worker Co-operatives

Aaron Dawson, Ann Favreau and Sandra Gorman
We will be using the US Federation of Worker Co-operatives (USFWC) as the example to examine the larger question of “authority versus liberty”; of which authority can be defined as a federation where co-operatives are members of a larger organization and therefore limiting individuals control over certain aspects and decisions; and of which liberty can be defined as the autonomy of individual co-operatives and their members to control their fate.