There are many reasons to start a worker cooperative, or convert an existing business to a worker co-op. Worker-owners tend to be paid more than traditional employees in their same field, stay in their jobs longer, and have better working conditions. There are other benefits that are less tangible, as well, such as the empowerment that comes from participating in a democratic workplace.
MCDC is here to help you make that happen with a variety of resources:
- Technical assistance and development support from our staff, including support on applications for co-op funding sources.
- Education on the worker cooperative model
- Free Co-ops 101, Co-ops 201, and Co-op Financing sessions through the Madison Public Library.
- “Co-ops 101” on our video library page.
- Other educational resources, including:
- An overview of the co-op model and the process of starting co-ops from the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives: Cooperatives in Wisconsin: The Power of Cooperative Action
- Information for co-op start-ups
- Information for worker co-ops
- Our list of preferred providers, who are professionals that have experience working with worker cooperatives
- Connections to local organizations for training, benefits, and resources, such as the Madison Public Library (which can assist you in research and planning for your cooperative).
- Start-up capital and financing through our lending partners, Shared Capital Cooperative and Kiva Madison.
We can also connect you to:
- Madison’s network of worker co-ops, MadWorC, which can provide support and ongoing connections to other worker cooperatives
- Business planning, legal support, and other technical assistance from the UW Center for Cooperatives
- Cooperative Development Grants through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), which can cover costs of consultants for things like business planning, feasibility studies, marketing, and more.
If this sounds good to you, please tell us about yourself and your idea on our intake form.