Skip to main content
Expanding democratic ownership

Public interest in cooperatives has surged since the global financial crisis, as people cry out for an alternative to business-as-usual. In spite of their many benefits for individuals, businesses, and society, however, cooperatives are not well understood in the United States. The field of worker co-op development is just beginning to create the infrastructure and knowledge base needed to increase its scale and impact.

This report aims to help build the field of U.S. worker co-op development by providing a current view of the cooperative landscape and by analyzing factors that inhibit or promote cooperative development. Although informed by the cooperative giants in Europe, this analysis highlights lessons learned through the development and growth of worker co-ops in the United States. Analyzing four common “origin stories” for worker cooperatives and five distinct models for cooperative development, the report highlights the benefits of democratic workplaces while providing strategic clarity about scaling up their impact.

Read and download the full report below, and view our infographic on the origin stories of worker cooperatives. You can also read more about worker co-ops here.

Worker coop origin stories

Publication date: 2014-05-31
Publisher: The Democracy Collaborative
Download and read now:

More related work

July 12, 2021
Constructing the democratic public bank

Constructing the Democratic Public Bank: A governance proposal for Los Angeles

Public banks have the potential to address a host of economic, social, and ecological crises. This report proposes a democratic public bank model for Los Angeles and elsewhere that addresses key questions of how public banks can best live up to that potential.
read more
Opportunity Knocking

Opportunity Knocking: Impact capital as the transformative agent to take employee ownership to scale

Impact investors and other capital providers can be the agents that can scale up employee ownership buyouts.
read more
A Common Platform

A Common Platform: Reimagining data and platforms

Digital platforms have proven indispensable to how we live, work, and play. The challenge is to liberate the democratic and enlivening potential of the platform from the logic of concentrated corporate ownership and profit maximization.

read more