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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Retaining Rural Businesses through Conversion to Employee Ownership

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Employee ownership, particularly in the form of worker cooperatives, offers a solution for business transitions. Shifting to employee ownership can keep business doors open, save jobs and maintain the business as a valued part of the community — a triple-win solution for the owner, the employees and the community.

Surprisingly, relatively few companies take advantage of this option. It's estimated there are fewer than 7,500 employee-owned companies in the U.S. (out of millions of employer firms). While most of these are Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), worker cooperatives are a more viable and practical option for businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Learn about the five stages of transition for business conversions to employee ownership. This event is designed for business owners, economic developers, business support professionals and workers interested in learning more about worker cooperatives.

Webinar presenters: Courtney Berner, of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, provides practical information, case studies and resource ideas. She is joined by Michael Darger of University of Minnesota Extension, her colleague Esther West and Kevin Edberg of Cooperative Development Services (St. Paul).


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