For 13 Tuesdays from September 1st through November 24th, teams of cooperative entrepreneurs will explore how to build worker-owned cooperative businesses with experts in business development, finance, governance, democratic decision making, and participatory management, and will learn about the rich history and culture of cooperative economics in the US, and in Buffalo, NY.
The Cooperative Academy is ideal for those interested in starting a worker cooperative to build wealth and power for workers and communities typically excluded from the mainstream economy.
Worker cooperatives are businesses owned and controlled by the workers, on the basis of one worker, one vote. Cooperatives are more resilient during economic downturns and have a long history as a way for working people to create good, dignified jobs that they control, particularly for people who traditionally lack access to business ownership or stable work options.
Cooperative Academy participants will meet member-owners of several Buffalo cooperatives and leave with a plan for starting their own worker cooperative business. Teams of at least 2 people are encouraged to apply, whether at the idea stage, already taking steps to grow a business, or considering a conversion of an existing business to worker-ownership.