If you’ve been wondering how to turn your existing business or business idea into a co-op, we’ve compiled a list of resource links to get you started:

Things to consider when starting a worker co-op

  1. Checklist for Starting a Worker-Cooperative by Boston’s Center for Community Ownership

  2. Information about Starting a New Cooperative by Worker-Owned and Run Cooperative Network of New England (WORCN)

  3. Guide to Starting a Cooperative by Co-op Development Institute

Local/regional resources

  1. Boston Center for Community Ownership: a cooperative business that provides training and consulting to the co-op/solidarity economy sector

  2. Worker-Owned and Run Cooperative Network of New England: a network of worker-owned co-ops and co-op developers. Site includes resources on regional co-op networks, starting/converting to a co-op, etc.

  3. City of Boston’s Employee Ownership Help: Boston-specific support for co-ops and employee-owned businesses. Site includes links to on-site technical help, workshops, loans, procurement, education around grants and other city policies that favor co-ops.

  4. Industrial Cooperative Association (ICA) Group: Regional resource applying expert analysis, results-based planning, and collaborative management to helping start and grow worker cooperatives. Site includes detailed resources on co-op fundamentals, starting/converting to co-op, and scaling co-op businesses.

  5. Co-op Development Institute (CDI): Regional resource dedicated to assisting co-operators. Site includes wide range of resources, including starting how-tos, sector-specific resources, regional educational opportunities, and recommended readings.

  6. Ownership Associates: A private consulting firm founded by Christopher Mackin

National resources and networks

  1. Democracy at Work Institute: a think-and-do-tank that marries on-the-ground-experience with cooperative businesses to a bird’s-eye view of the national stage. Site includes a wide range of resources for start-ups, conversions, growth, etc.

  2. US Federation of Worker Co-ops: national grassroots membership organization for worker cooperatives. Site includes recommended reading on cooperatives and membership directories.

Funding

  1. Cooperative Fund of New England

  2. Shared Capital Cooperative

  3. Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (primarily for ICA Group clients)

  4. National Cooperative Bank

Local/state legal resources

  1. New Leaf Legal

  2. A Legal Guide to Worker Co-ops Generally and in Massachusetts