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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Raising Cooperative Capital for Worker Co-ops

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June 17, 2021
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How can cooperatives raise capital that aligns with their values and do it legally? When worker cooperatives are trying to raise capital for their cooperative, they can get in a lot of trouble when they come up against a little thing called "securities law." Also, many worker cooperatives find it difficult raising capital that aligns with their cooperative values, one of which is member control of the cooperative (and not outside investors!). In this teach-in our Director of Economic Democracy, Ricardo Nuñez, provides a brief orientation for worker cooperatives and their supporters to the considerations around raising cooperative capital in California. He covers:
- What laws do you have to understand before raising money for your cooperative?
- What is a security and why should you care?
- What are alternative ways of funding the growth and operations of your cooperative?
- What are a few principles for more democratic capital?
- How have actual worker coops raised cooperative capital?

Want more resources related to this webinar? Visit out website.

We were also joined by a Kieron Slaughter, Chief Community Development Officer at the City of Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development, who shared how Berkeley businesses can access the Berkeley Revolving Loan Fund, particularly in light of the coop-friendly amendments that went into effect in 2020 and the influx of CARES-funded no/low-interest loans (so exciting!).

We’d like to thank the City of Berkeley for sponsoring this event and making more resources available to grow the cooperative economy in Berkeley!

If you are an entrepreneur, a business owner thinking about succession planning or transitioning to an employee owned company, or a worker coop with worker-members or candidates looking to skill up (Principle 5!), this training is for you!

ASL interpretation is provided on this recording.



Edmund Dante H…

Thanks for sharing this very important information. Here in Illinois, we have the Limited Worker Cooperative Association Act (effective Jan 1, 2020). Businesses can create a LWCA (like an LLC) to obtain the legal entity designation. However, there is very little known about how to take advantage of the "Sec. 70. Exemption from securities laws." I wish there was an informative webinar like this one for Illinois Worker Coops.


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