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.
- Common Dreams
Two common-sense pieces of federal support for employee business ownership on the table...
The best-kept business model secret of our age is about to get the spotlight it has long deserved. It's employee ownership—a proven, common-sense pathway to reduce inequality, anchor jobs at home, and rebuild a strong and stable economy, using a vehicle that’s as American as apple pie: making entrepreneurs out of regular, working folks.Democracy Collaborative's—Chief Financial Officer and Director of Employee Ownership Programs—Jessica Bonanno writes in Common Dreams about the benefits of employee ownership...read more
- Common Dreams
'Giving workers a seat at the table and their fair share of the profits they help produce is one way to even up the playing field and give hardworking Americans a chance to create an economy that works for everyone'...read more
Rochester’s Market Driven Community Cooperatives Corporation: A Feasibility Analysis & Implementation Plan
The City of Rochester's Office of Innovation, under the leadership of Mayor Lovely Warren, has been coordinating a project to develop worker-owned cooperative businesses as part of a comprehensive wealth building strategy for Rochester, New York.
In 2015 the City engaged The Democracy Collaborative, a group with extensive expertise from similar work in Cleveland Ohio in connection with the Evergreen Cooperatives and the Greater University Circle Initiative. The Democracy Collaborative completed a study in February 2016 that documented incredible potential for the project, a high degree of community support including local Anchor Institution buy-in, as well as several potential business niches for future worker-owned businesses. The report also includes an implementation plan to move the project forward in two additional phases, the first of which was approved to proceed by the Rochester City Council on March 22nd, 2016.
- 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.
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.