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Co-op Development

  • Boston Center for Community Ownership (BCCO) – worker, self-directed non-profit co-op development center rooted in community organizing; provides organizing support in English and Spanish for startup co-ops and co-op conversions, as well as ongoing training and technical assistance for existing cooperatives.
  • Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) – multi-sector technical assistance and co-op development center, with a focus on agricultural producer cooperatives and worker-owned farms and food producers; resident-owned manufactured home communities; and businesses transitioning to employee-ownership.
  • ICA Group – a leading expert on worker ownership and the oldest national organization dedicated to the development of worker cooperatives.

Technical Assistance

In addition to the regional and national organizations listed below, many cooperative associations also offer education and peer-support. We are also connected with local service providers throughout the northeast. Contact our TA team for assistance with legal, accounting, facilitation, and conflict transformation referrals.

  • Columinate Consulting – national consulting cooperative serving mission-driven organizations, including food co-ops, electric co-ops, healthcare organizations, credit unions, schools, and nonprofits
  • Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) – technical assistance for farms and food businesses of all kinds, including processors, distributors, and producers of value-added products like jams, cheeses, and pickles.
  • Co-op Clinic (US Federation of Worker Cooperatives) – network of peer advisors provide technical assistance services to worker co-ops and democratic workplace, including decision-making, co-op finances, boards, bylaws and more.
  • Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) – movement-based think-and-do tank supporting worker cooperatives to grow to a scale that creates meaningful change in the economy.
  • Food Coop Initiative (FCI) – resources for people in the U.S. working to start a retail food cooperative that meets the needs of their community.
  • Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC) – training, education, markets, business development, and financial planning for farmers and land stewards of color; facilitation of land return, donation, rematriation, and purchase.
  • North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) –  organizes,  provides resources, and assists development of affordable group equity co-ops and their members for the purpose of promoting a community-oriented cooperative movement.
  • TESA Collective (The Toolbox for Education and Social Action) – education and development services for cooperatives; works with organizations and groups to build tools, games, and programs for their cause.

Co-op Grants

This is not an exhaustive list of grant-makers, but a starting point for organizations with a long-standing commitment to supporting cooperatives. Grant cycle start dates are indicated in parenthesis. Sign up for the Co-op Monthly to get notified about new grant opportunities as they become available!

  • Catholic Campaign for Human Development (September) – $25,000-$75,000 grants for economic development projects including worker co-ops, business incubators, and training businesses
  • Cooperative Development Foundation (May & October) – grants and scholarships of up to $10,000 for  co-op educational programs, disaster relief, and invitation-only opportunities
  • Co-op Innovation Awards (April) – up to $50,000 for innovative strategies to increase the number of food, housing, and worker co-ops serving low-income communities.
  • Haymarket Peoples’ Fund – urgent response grants up to $5,000 (rolling deadline) and sustaining grants up to $15,000 (November) for grassroots social change projects in New England
  • US Department of Agriculture (various) – grants primarily support non-profit cooperative development centers. If you are a rural or agricultural cooperative, check with your co-op development center or TA providers about using USDA funds to support TA services.

Sell to Your Employees

Technical Assistance Providers (Conversions)

  • Business Ownership Solutions program (Cooperative Development Institute) –  expertise in cooperative design, financial analysis, business planning, transaction structure and financing, and education and training needed to execute a successful conversion to an employee-owned company.
  • ICA Group – a leading expert on worker ownership and the oldest national organization dedicated to the development of worker cooperatives.
  • Project Equity – provides hands-on consulting and support to companies that want to transition to employee ownership, as well as to the new employee-owners to ensure that they, and their businesses, thrive after the transition.
  • Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC) – provides information and resources to owners interested in selling their business to their employees, employee groups interested in purchasing a business, and entrepreneurs who wish to start up a company with broadly shared ownership.
  • Workers to Owners Collaborative (Democracy at Work Institute) – a national collaborative of organizations working to transition small businesses to worker- and employee-ownership

Ownership Transition Stories

Go Deeper


Co-op Deep Dives

Want to geek out about financial, legal, or governance issues for cooperatives? Make these DIY resources your first stop! 

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Watch This

Watch This

Check out all of our playlists and curated content on CFNE’s YouTube channel! See below for sector-specific playlists of technical assistance / how-to videos as well.

Sector-Specific Playlists