Worker Owned Academy
Worker Owned Academy
About Worker Ownership
Worker owned cooperatives (co-ops) are entities that buy and sell goods and services, just like traditional businesses, but they are owned by their workers, rather than by shareholders. Worker cooperatives empower workers to make decisions that impact their lives and livelihoods, learn new skills, and share equitably in a business's profits.
Cooperatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members. Whether the members are the customers, employees or residents they have an equal say in what the business does and a share in the profits. Whether it is a new business idea or a current business that wants to convert, we are here to help you through the necessary steps - and to coach you in the most important aspect that sets co-ops apart from other businesses; to work as a group, equally taking part and sharing in the work and rewards.
About theWorker Owned Academy
The Cooperation Humboldt / North Coast SBDC Worker Ownership Program is committed to supporting existing co-ops and incubating new co-ops. We offer the four-session Worker Owned Academy below as the foundation for deep-dive coaching and support for your team as you work together to create or convert to a worker-owned enterprise.
When you're done you'll understand some of the basics and know whether you want to move forward... and then the REAL work will begin!
Dates: Worker Owned Academy takes place over four sessions on February 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. PST. Learn more first at the Introduction to Worker Ownership free orientation on January 19th.
Cost: $60 for the Academy. Income based scholarships available. Please complete this voluntary, confidential income self-certification form and send to Madison McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let you know asap if you qualify.
Method: All sessions will be virtual, using Zoom. You will need a computer, good internet speed, a microphone and speaker.
1 - Introduction to Cooperatives. This session focuses on what a coop is, what makes them different from other businesses, and what is the same. Special attention is on the participants introducing the business ideas, giving feedback and answering questions and worries.
2 - Process of Starting a Cooperative. This session focuses on the process of starting a co-op; what do you need to do before you incorporate your business: Start with an idea, Form a Team/Steering Committee, Make a Business plan and a Feasibility study, and Decide on bylaws and legal structure for the business.
3 - Working in a Co-op Development Team. This session focuses on the work in a Co-op Development Team/Steering Committee with special emphasis on facilitation, consensus decision making, and agendas and structures of the meetings.
4 - Governance and Finances. This session focuses on the governance of a co-op (Bylaws and operating agreements), legal structures (Cooperative Corporation and LLC), and the basics of surplus sharing in a co-ops