Introduction to Cooperative & Employee Owned Business Development
Sponsored by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation
What is a worker cooperative, a consumer co-op, a democratic enterprise? Learn how business development organizations can use this exciting business model to support the creation of firms that root capital locally within a community. This one-day workshop will introduce participants to the ideas behind cooperative businesses, explore the cooperative landscape in Massachusetts, and introduce how business development groups already working in the small business arena can add worker and community ownership to their set of tools. Specific topics to be covered include:
- Business transfers or conversion: Selling a business to your employees increases its productivity, profitability, and longevity – and carries with it several tax incentives. Community transitions are another option to retain critical community resources. Learn the basics of the conversion process, the benefits, and what makes a good candidate.
- Shared Services Co-ops: One of the biggest challenges facing small business is their lack of scale and the economies that come with it. In sectors such as grocery and carpeting, however, independent stores successfully compete with the support of shared services co-ops. Learn the basics of shared services co-ops and how firms in Massachusetts are using this model to stand up to the largest of competitors.
- Co-ops Seeding Co-ops: Any startup faces serious challenges, even more so when the ownership is meant to be spread across the whole workforce or a community. Community and worker owned businesses are addressing this through leveraging their supply chain to create protected markets to facilitate growth and spread ownership even wider.
Instructor David Hammer is the Executive Director of the ICA Group, the country's oldest national organization dedicated to the development and promotion of worker cooperatives. David has spent his career working for organizations dedicated to empowering workers and the communities in which they live. David's areas of expertise include market research, business planning, governance, policy analysis, data analysis and financial modeling.
- Micha Josephy, Program Manager, Cooperative Fund of New England
- Rob Brown, Cooperative Development Specialist, CDI
- Stacey Cordeiro, Director, Boston Center for Community Ownership