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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

First U.S. franchised immigrant co-op expands in New York and Philadelphia

Two years ago, alongside nine fellow immigrants, Aguilar launched the Washington Heights franchise of Brightly — an eco-friendly cleaning company structured as both a franchise and a worker-owned cooperative.

“It is entirely unique because it's the first worker-owned franchise in the United States,” said Julia Jean-Francois, co-executive director of Brooklyn-based nonprofit Center for Family Life, which in 2018 structured a pilot Brightly co-op into a franchise model that could expand across the country.

In just four years, Brightly has expanded to include five franchises in New York and soon a sixth in Philadelphia, each one a collaboration of worker-owners who are also immigrants. By the end of last year, it was a million-dollar business, Jean-Francois said.

For the first time, Aguilar said, she’s reaping nearly all of the profits from her own work. Each franchise is owned separately. But all share the Brightly branding, as well as a web portal that allows them to find customers, accept credit card payments and schedule corporate or residential cleanings.

Read the rest at Yahoo News


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