Co-op Resources

WAGES provides a variety of technical assistance tools to individuals and organizations interested in learning about our high-impact co-op incubation model. The following external websites also offer information and support regarding cooperative incubation. While some of these resources are more tailored to our model than others, we hope they will be helpful to you.

Resources marked with an asterisk (*) are those specific to working with immigrant or other marginalized communities.

 

Introductory Reading
New to co-ops? Start here, for an introduction to co-ops, the co-op movement, and co-op values and principles

 

How to Start and Strengthen a Co-op
A collection of comprehensive and subject-specific resources for current and potential co-op developers

Comprehensive resources

 

Start guides

Topic-specific resources

 

Educational Opportunities
Conferences and training opportunities in the cooperative field

 

Professional Services
Organizations that offer professional services (consulting, accounting, legal advice, and financial support) to co-ops.

Consulting

  • DAWN Technical Assistance - (multiple cities nationwide) DAWN’s team of peer advisors offer a range of services that cover all stages of the co-op development process. Co-op developers can receive customized technical assistance through making a request.
  • USFWC Technical Assistance - (nationwide) The USFWC offers up to four hours of free technical assistance and consulting for members, and provides support for applicants to its Worker Ownership Fund.
     

Accounting

  • National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC) - (nationwide) NSAC is a professional society for those actively involved with the financial management and planning of cooperative businesses. They accept both phone and online inquiries from co-ops interested in referrals for accountants in their area.
     

Legal advice

Financial support

  • Financing Support - The USFWC has compiled a list of financial institutions that support worker cooperatives.
  • Sources of Funding - A list of institutions providing grants and loans, compiled by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA).
  • Kiva Zip An experimental site that offers person-to-person lending for entrepreneurs, who can register as borrowers and directly raise capital from lenders around the web.

 

Worker Owned Co-ops
For more inspiration and advice, consult these examples of worker-owned cooperatives in the Bay Area and beyond.

  • Mondragon Cooperative Corporation - (Basque region, Spain) Mondragon is a leading example in the worker co-op field.
  • Arizmendi Association of Co-operatives - (SF Bay Area) A cooperative of seven member businesses: six cooperative bakeries (including the Arizmendi Bakeries and Cheeseboard Collective) and a development and support collective.
  • Evergreen Cooperatives* - (Cleveland, OH) The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative works to create meaningful green jobs in six low-income neighborhoods in the Greater University Circle (GUC).
  • Rainbow Grocery Cooperative - (SF Bay Area) A vegetarian food store and worker-owned cooperative business.