Worker Co-ops: How to Get Started

We live in a world of increasing inequality, exploitation, and a fixation on growth at all costs. We need new forms of business and there are a growing number of co-operatives that are owned and controlled primarily for the benefit of their workers. 

This workshop will be a practical journey through the stages of setting up a worker co-op, exploring the different options and decisions you’ll make along the way.

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  • What is a worker co-op?
  • The practicalities of setting up a worker co-op, what you need, when you need it, and where to research further support
  • Some core skills, behaviours, and practical tools
  • The motivation, inspiration, and knowledge to start this new adventure
  • Some core skills and ways of working with others to ensure you can build a great organisational culture
  • Do you have a business idea, or need for a decent job doing what you love. But you want to share the work, responsibilities, and rewards with others? 
  • Do you have a social or community project that you want to embed flat management and people-focused work practices?
  • Are you interested in worker ownership and want the knowledge and tools to advocate for the model and help others get started on their own journey?

Siôn Whellens co-designed and launched the Worker Cooperative Solidarity Fund, which has 525 contributing members, mainly worker co-operators. SolidFund backs worker co-op education, skills development, and organisation projects.

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