Cooperatives (Co-ops)

ENEROC enters into agreement on LED project

Kerry Feltner and Andrea Deckert
Rochester Business Journal

ENEROC LLC—the inaugural business of the Market Driven Community Corp.—has entered into an agreement to be a subcontractor for an LED lighting installation project at Rochester General more

More co-ops in South Bend: a new way to boost local economy?

Jeff Parrott
South Bend Tribune

Wages that haven’t kept up with the cost of living. Declining economic opportunity. The ever-widening gulf between the rich and more

Westerra Credit Union

Founded in 1934 by a small group of teachers who pooled their funds to make loans to other teachers, Westerra Credit Union now has more than 90,000 members and total assets exceeding $1 billion.  Through its school grant program, Westerra has remained focused on supporting teachers by providing small grants to help teachers purchase materials and cover costs related to afterschool and other programs.  The credit union also provides free financial education programs and sponsors a range of community events.

Connex Credit Union

With roots back to 1940, Connex Credit Union now has assets valued over $450 million, more than 45,000 members, and 7 branches across the New Haven region.  Committed to improving the lives of its members, Connex supports a range of charitable and community programs, including its Coins for Change initiative, which donates 100 percent of the small fee required to use its coin cashing machines to community nonprofits.  Connex also offers free financial education workshops and special accounts targeted towards teens and students.

When Big Co-ops Fail

Peter Couchman and Murray Fulton

The international co-operative movement has seen a series of catastrophic failures of large scale co-operatives in recent decades, such as the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, retail co-ops in Germany, France and Atlantic Canada, banking in Austria and the near meltdown of the Co-operative Group in the UK. Yet our co-operative culture has not been one of seeking to understand the factors which are common in these events and which, if understood, could be used to prevent such collapses in the future. 

How to Build an Inclusive Economy Through Employee Ownership

Adam Wiskind
Triple Pundit

This blog post describes the initiative sponsored by The Democracy Collaborative to create 50 million employee-owners by 2050:

Real Pickles DPO: How Workers Raised Half a Million Dollars to Buy a Business

A case study in strategies for financing the inclusive economy

Excerpted from The Democracy Collaborative report, Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economyoriginally published September 2016. (Photo: Real Pickles)

Read more about Real Pickles DPO: How Workers Raised Half a Million Dollars to Buy a Business...

Taking Employee Ownership to Scale: Learning + Design Session

Democracy at Work Institute, The Democracy Collaborative

On June 13 and 14, 2016 in Washington, DC, many of the nation’s leading experts in employee ownership, sustainable business and finance, community and economic development, and philanthropy came together in a Learning + Design session. Co-hosts for the meeting were Marjorie Kelly and Jessica Bonanno of The Democracy Collaborative and Camille Kerr of Democracy at Work Institute. The purpose of the session was to discuss how to achieve unprecedented scale of employee ownership by focusing on achieving an audacious goal: 50 million U.S. employee-owners by 2050. This report summarizes and expands upon the June meeting:

Institutionalizing a Commitment to Racial and Economic Justice

Worker Co-ops Move Beyond Business as Usual

During the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives membership meeting this past July in Austin, Texas, the Federation shared with its membership the newly created Racial and Economic Justice Member Council. The Council is hoping to facilitate the Federation’s adoption of three more principles that will guide worker cooperatives. This marks an important institutional change, as organizations strive to create and sustain racial and economic justice. Read more about Institutionalizing a Commitment to Racial and Economic Justice...

Can Cooperative Businesses Save Communities?

Matthew Robare
The American Conservative

This article highlights the work being facilitated by The Democracy Collaborative across the United States to help incubate cooperative business and change city economies from the ground up:

Powerful, under-used tool for reducing income-inequality: broad-based ownership

Marjorie Kelly
The Hill

In this article for The Hill, Democracy Collaborative Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly describes the growing movement toward broad-based ownership and how communities are coming together to take control of their local economies. Kelly highlights some of the innovative strategies used by communities on the ground, such as the cooperative ownership business conversion, which is poised to achieve expanded scale in the near future:

Neighborhood Credit Union

Established in 1930 as Dallas Postal Credit Union, Neighborhood Credit Union is the oldest credit union in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The credit union currently has assets greater than $325 million, 10 branches, and over 30,000 members, the majority of whom are underserved by traditional banking institutions.  With a goal of helping North Texans improve their financial health and wellbeing, it gives members access to free financial coaching and education. Read more about Neighborhood Credit Union...