Srem Group 10 28 10

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Seattle Renewable Energy Meet-up Oct. 2010

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  • <Remember: slooooooowwww and be natural>
    I appreciate the opportunity to be here…
    Very timely event!
  • <Go slow>
  • <…slowly…>
    Intro self and sectors
  • <ehm, breath>
    Co-ops are dynamic and relevant in today’s economy
  • What does this mean: the equity owners of a co-op are the same people who:
    - democratically govern the business thru 1-member = 1-vote
    - are the beneficiaries of the services provided
  • <are you going slowly enough>
    Co-ops are defined by ownership
    In this collection of cooperative business’s logo’s, I see groups of people who had a need:
    - they could not meet individually
    and
    - which was unfulfilled by the traditional investor-owned private sector
  • <S.L.O.W.>
    Because co-op businesses are:
    - comprised of the community
    - they are representative of the community
    - and they are a part of the community
    Co-ops:
    - Keep profits, ownership and control local
    - Are less vulnerable to take-over and closure by outside decision-makers; often stay long after others leave
    - Are trusted business partners; people like to deal with the producer
    Co-ops have an innate edge on investor-owned corporations and they have an opportunity to sell it!
  • Building blocks of economic cooperation
    Authority:
    - basic authority and responsibility imposed by law, in other words the incorporating statute
    - Bylaws and policy provide guidance and clarify authority
    Ultimate authority from 2 places:
    Comes from members and this overall system
    The co-op is theirs and without their desire
    to create and perpetuate co-op, the board wouldn’t exist
    Members place their needs, trust and Board of their choosing.
  • To close on the general info…
  • Madrona: 20 members, pool the local WVO, one 5 gallon carboy at a time for a local fuel production gig
  • Madrona: 20 members, pool the local WVO, one 5 gallon carboy at a time for a local fuel production gig
  • Madrona: 20 members, pool the local WVO, one 5 gallon carboy at a time for a local fuel production gig
  • Srem Group 10 28 10

    1. 1. NW Co-op Development Center Seattle Renewable Energy Meet-up Group Oct. 28th , 2010 Eric Bowman, Cooperative Development Specialist eric@nwcdc.coop Teresa Young, Organizational Development Specialist teresa@nwcdc.coop 1063 S Capitol Way # 211 Olympia, WA 98501 360.943.4241
    2. 2. Presentation Overview 1. Intro 2. Co-ops 101 and Overview 3. Models – Consumer – Community Solar – Worker 1. Q&A
    3. 3. NWCDC The Center a 501(c)3 nonprofit which provides development services for new and existing co-ops Our mission to foster community economic development through the co-op business model We’re a team of co-op developers with skills specific to start-up and organizational business development
    4. 4. Co-op Role U.S. Facts: – 3,000 farmer co-ops market 30% of farmers’ products – 6,400 housing co-ops provide 1.5m homes – 10,000 credit unions provide services to 84m members – 1,000 rural electrics operate ½ the nation’s distribution – 47,000 co-ops serve 43% of the population Top 100 co-ops’ 2009 revenues = $176 Billion!
    5. 5. Co-ops 101 Investor owned: Sole proprietor: Co-ops are member: ◦ Owned ◦ Benefited ◦ Controlled
    6. 6. Ownership Member-Owners can be – Consumers – Producers/Farmers – Workers – Other Businesses
    7. 7. Distributionism Consumer ◦ Credit Unions ◦ Housing ◦ Retail (e.g. food co-ops) ◦ Farm Supply Two Schools Producer ◦ Worker ◦ Farmer ◦ Artisan ◦ Business
    8. 8. Why Cooperate? …to access resources not individually achievable Marketable Co-op Benefits; “Goodwill” • Keep profits, ownership and control local • Accountable • Trusted
    9. 9. Relationships and Authority
    10. 10. Unique Characteristics of Co-ops • Owned/controlled by members, not outside investors • Exist solely to serve members • Return surplus to members based on use, not investment • Pay taxes on income kept for investment/reserves; surplus revenue returned to members who pay taxes • Economy of scale = valued added
    11. 11. Consumer Models Consumers aggregate to: • Bulk buy • Govern management • Keep margins low Models: • Housing • Credit unions • Food co-ops
    12. 12. Flower Power – Salem, OR • 60 Members • SeQuential B99 at cost plus: – OR/Fed Road taxes – Delivery fee – $.05 co-op overhead • Pringle Creek: – Waived rent/utilities – Building garage
    13. 13. Residents in Eliot, ME • 65 homeowners and small businesses • Co-op bulk purchase HHO, “bioheat” • Average savings ~$300 • locked-in price – capped "downside protection" – always pay the lowest price
    14. 14. Assn negotiates fuel for timber harvesters, haulers, etc. Up to $.25 per gal savings!
    15. 15. Bulk buying Solar One Block Off the Grid (not a co-op): • Lower costs • Less confusion • Trusted contractors “Solar power meets consumer power: Group discounts help you buy home solar power”
    16. 16. Co-op Owned Infrastructure Baywind Energy Co-op • 1,300 members • 2.5 MW farm Westmill Wind Farm • 2,000 members • 6.5 MW farm Characteristics: • One member = 1 vote • Shares and loans sold to community • U.K.
    17. 17. Community Solar • Community ownership: – Might be a co-op, might not – Co-op pools project participants – Facilitated/managed by for profit developer – “condo” model – Joint venture
    18. 18. What is a Worker Cooperative? •Worker Owned •Worker Controlled
    19. 19. Worker-Owned • Investment buy-in • Worker-owner receives a portion of the revenue after expenses • Conventional businesses refer to this as profit • Co-ops call it surplus
    20. 20. Arizmendi Bakery
    21. 21. Worker-Controlled • Democratic decision – one worker-member = one vote • Worker-Control takes many forms depending on the size and type of business • Each business creates the structure best suited to their needs
    22. 22. Democratic Workplaces • Cooperatives: “one member, one vote” • Collectives: democratic but not owned by • LLCs: shared ownership, protected debt • Democratic ESOPs: usually own stock and share profits
    23. 23. Types of Worker Co-ops • Service: housekeepers, taxis.. • Retail: grocery, bakeries, bookstores… • Health Care: nursing, Clinics, bodywork.. • Skilled trades: printing, plumbing… • Manufacturing & engineering: fabrication... • Technology: web hosting... • Education: Charter schools… • Media and the arts: designers, galleries…
    24. 24. Questions to ask yourselves • What kind of business do you have in mind? • What are your goals? • Does the Co-op model fit those goals? • How many people are currently involved and who else do you hope to involve? • Do you have the skills to do a feasibility study or business plan? • What assistance are you going to need?
    25. 25. More Questions • What kind of organizational/management structure? • Do you have capitalization lined up?
    26. 26. Thank You! Eric Bowman & Teresa Young eric@nwcdc.coop | teresa@nwcdc.coop Northwest Cooperative Development Center 1063 Capitol Way S # 211 Olympia, WA 98501 360.943.4241 | www.nwcdc.coop Fostering community economic development through the cooperative business model

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