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A British Town’s Novel Solution to Austerity

Redesigning the enterprise

Jessica Rose—The Democracy Collaborative’s Chief Financial Officer and Director of Employee Ownership Programs—speaks to The Atlantic on the Evergreen Cooperatives:

The project here is influenced in large part by the work of the Democracy Collaborative, a think tank based in Cleveland, Ohio. Starting in 2009, the Democracy Collaborative helped establish three co-ops—an industrial laundry, an urban farm, and a solar-energy refitter—to sell services back to local businesses, including the Cleveland Clinic, a major health-care provider. The Democracy Collaborative says the co-ops now employ 200 people in the poorest neighborhoods of a city that has lost 40 percent of its population over the past four decades. The total numbers of those employed may be small, but “it takes a long time to succeed in a strategy that’s based on incubating new businesses,” argues Jessica Rose, the director of employee ownership at the Democracy Collaborative.

Read the full piece here.

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