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Jessica (Bonanno) Rose

Chief Financial Officer & Director, Employee Ownership Programs

Jessica Rose is a national employee ownership business strategist, who focuses on the unique role of capital to drive scale. She advises cities, grant-makers, and investors on cutting-edge models to expand economic opportunity through employee ownership and is deeply involved in the research and development of innovative, on-the ground employee-owned business development and financing models.  

Jessica has a background as an entrepreneur and investment analyst, holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, is a Certified ESOP Fiduciary, and a Research Fellow with Rutgers University's Institute for Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, for research into the role of capital in scaling employee ownership.  She is an editor of the Fifty by Fifty newsletter and blog and her work has appeared in Common Dreams, The Daily Yonder, and The Albany Times-Union.  

Jessica's personal journey out of poverty and subsequent community organizing experience inspired her interest in employee ownership as a tool to address wealth inequality and empower workers.  She has been recognized with the 2018 Mendoza College of Business Alumni award for her work to promote socially responsible business models. She is passionate about alternative finance, social enterprise, and other cutting-edge market-based solutions to inequality.

Recent blog posts:
  • Mayor: Worker co-ops can curb poverty

    David Riley
    Democrat & Chronicle

    After working for over a year with City officials behind the scenes on a plan to build community wealth in Rochester, members of the Democracy Collaborative Jessica Bonnano and Vie Duncan have shown the Rochester mayor and other leaders in economic development there that supporting worker cooperatives is a strategy that could uplift the city.

  • Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis

    Jessica Bonanno, Steve Dubb, and Ted Howard

    Our newest report, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, prepared in partnership with New Orleans based DMM & Associates on behalf of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), outlines procurement practices and supply chain needs of New Orleans healthcare institutions and the capacity local business to fulfill those needs. The report provides recommendations on how to leverage New Orleans’ hospitals’ $1.5 billion in procurement spending to promote greater local procurement and economic inclusion in a city where only 48 percent of African American adult males are in the formal labor force. This report is based on interviews with nearly  50 representatives from area hospitals, additional anchor buyers, technical assistance organizations, small businesses, and other public stakeholders.