by ROBERTO LOVATO
Co-ops have been around as an alternative business model for a long time, but in recent years they seem to have been enjoying a marked surge of interest. From all indications the reason is that, although working for a co-ops involves a lot of work, these companies also serve their employees in crucial areas where traditional businesses fall short.
If you want to dig deeper into this world, here are six good places to start.
- Jill Bamburg’s Mondragon through a Critical Lens in Medium provides an excellent overview of both co-operatives and Mondragon. Very detailed and balanced take for anyone looking for a primer.
- An older, but thorough and excellent (English language) read on the origins, history and power of the Mondragon Corporation is Making Mondragon by William and Kathy Whyte. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the inner workings and challenges of co-operatives.
- A 2018 article in Co-op News exploring why the number of worker-owned co-ops in the U.S. has nearly doubled.
- The Democracy Collaborative supports the creation of co-operatives as part of a larger vision that uses technical assistance, research and partnerships to create a new economic system centered around shared ownership and control.
- The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) provides technical assistance, training, & outreach programs to 700 businesses that use or are interested in issues such as Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), worker-owned cooperative models and succession planning.
- Based in Oakland California, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives is a grassroots network of over 200 companies and 6000 workers. The federation provides education, advocacy, and development services.