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Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops
 

Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops

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Worker co-ops can yield innumerable benefits to low-income immigrant and other vulnerable communities, including job creation and wealth-building opportunities, healthy, democratically-run workplaces, ...

Worker co-ops can yield innumerable benefits to low-income immigrant and other vulnerable communities, including job creation and wealth-building opportunities, healthy, democratically-run workplaces, leadership development, and social cohesion. This webinar will share the key benefits and challenges of the worker co-op model, and describe what functions and conditions are required for nonprofits to successfully build a sustainable worker-owned co-op.

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    Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops Presentation Transcript

    • Sponsored by: Incubating Sustainable Worker Co-ops Meche Sansores, Alex Armenta, and Elena Fairley August 14, 2013 Twitter Hashtag - #npweb Part Of:
    • Sponsored by: Advising nonprofits in: • Strategy • Planning • Organizational Development www.synthesispartnership.com (617) 969-1881 info@synthesispartnership.com INTEGRATED PLANNING Part Of:
    • Sponsored by:Part Of: Coming Soon
    • Sponsored by: Today’s Speakers Hosting: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Assisting with chat questions: Jamie Maloney, 4Good Alex Armenta Associate Director WAGES Part Of: Meche Sansores Executive Director WAGES Elena Fairley Communications & Development Associate WAGES
    • INCUBATING SUSTAINABLE WORKER-OWNED CO-OPS Meche Sansores, Executive Director of WAGES Alex Armenta, Associate Director of WAGES Elena Fairley, Communications and Development Associate at WAGES August 14, 2013 Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security
    • Today’s goal Our goal for this webinar is to answer the following questions: 1. What are the main challenges creating long-lasting opportunities for low- income women and immigrant communities? 1. How does WAGES’ model of co-op incubation address these challenges? 1. What functions and conditions are required to be equipped to be a holistic co-op business developer? Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Part 1: What are the main challenges creating long- lasting opportunities for low-income women and immigrant communities? Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • What are the challenges? Part 1: Challenges  Sustainable economic opportunity  Economic integration  Next generation dreams HIGH BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT x Limited English proficiency x Few opportunities that offer good pay and working conditions x Lack of access to educational opportunities Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES HIGH BARRIERS TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP x Understanding business models, market feasibility, US consumer culture x Navigating business regulations and requirements x Stresses and burdens of sole proprietorship over time x Vulnerability to market shocks
    • Microenterprise or Worker Co-ops?  Higher level of expertise required  Higher start-up costs  Greater control over business  Lower barriers to entry  Lower start-up costs  Less control over business Part 2: The Co-op Solution Microenterprise Worker Co-ops Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Part 2: How does WAGES’ model of co-op incubation address these challenges? Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Co-ops in the U.S.  30,000 co-ops in the U.S.  Over 100 million members  There are 5 types of co-ops Producer ConsumerPurchasing HybridWorker Snapshot of Cooperatives Part 2: The Co-op Solution Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • More on Worker Co-ops Worker cooperatives are businesses that are owned and democratically governed by their employees. Keyelements:  Democratic Governance  Profit Sharing Worker Co-op Snapshot: • 300 worker co-ops in the U.S. • 40 of those are immigrant-owned Arizmendi Bakery Evergreen Cooperatives Emma’s Eco-Clean Part 2: The Co-op Solution Examples: Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Proven Results: Stable, Secure Businesses and Earnings  5 Bay Area Cooperatives  $3.2M combined annual sales  103 jobs  Benefits – ie medical, time off, disability  Average member tenure 4.2 to 6 years  Individual incomes 158%  Median household income 70-86% Part 2: The Co-op Solution Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Proven Results: Personal, Social, FinancialAssets  Median retained earnings asset @ $9,219, w/ no-interest loans  Secure, stable earnings through co-op profit distribution  Personal capability and leadership development  Protection from workplace hazards and abuses  Social support and coherence Part 2: The Co-op Solution Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Part 3: What functions and conditions are required to be equipped to be a holistic co-op business developer? Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • What is WAGES’ role? Part 2: The Co-op Solution WAGES is a co-op incubator. WAGES builds co-ops that empower low-income immigrant Latinas to become entrepreneurs, achieve financial security, and exercise leadership. Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Services for co-op members are provided in small group settings as well as individual business consulting, mentoring, and coaching.  Intensive co-op member leadership development  Communications and conflict resolution  Social entrepreneurship and business management  Co-op principles  Co-op governance  Financial inclusion  Co-op shared services Services provided Part 3: What is needed Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • There are 5 phases in cooperative development that make WAGES’ model unique. Business Development And Incubation Part 3: What is needed I. Business Planning II. Business Launch III. Business Incubation IV. Business Graduation V. Post-graduation Support Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • In worker co-ops, the two extremes of business imperatives and social commitments can function synergistically, creating mutually reinforcing positive outcomes. Building a relational culture in our economy Part 3: What is needed Business Imperative Social Commitment Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Co-op Principles 1. Voluntary and open membership 2. Democratic member control 3. Member economic participation 4. Autonomy and independence 5. Education, training, and information 6. Cooperation among cooperatives 7. Concern for community Part 2: The Co-op Solution Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Skills Required In order to succeed in building a worker co-op, incubators must draw from a wide skill set that spans business development and individual leadership development. Co-op incubators must wear many hats, which can at times be in conflict. Part 3: What is needed Business Developer Leadership Coach Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Basic Requirements to Launch a Co-op Part 3: What is needed 1. Skilled and experienced co-op business developer staff and/or consultants 2. Feasible business plan 3. Secured/identified diverse sources of funding 4. Program training and mentoring curriculum for: • Co-op member development • Management support 5. Formalized commitment from the Board of Directors as well as a group of founding members Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Conclusion 1. Cooperatives are a viable option to address challenges that immigrants face. 2. Worker co-ops are a high-resource, high-impact model to help low-income workers and immigrants achieve financial security. 1. Undertaking a worker co-op project requires extensive resources, and a broad skillset that spans business development and leadership development. Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • www.wagescooperatives.org/learn See technical assistance page for: • Downloadable Foundations of WAGES Cooperatives • Upcoming tools for co-op developers and communities • Updates on 2014 Co-op Intensive Institute Thank you! Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES
    • Any questions? Incubating Sustainable Worker-Owned Co-ops – presentation by WAGES