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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Our Exciting Journey from Inc. to an Employee-owned Business

I fumbled into collective entrepreneurship the hard way. After 7 years of operation, our business hit a hurdle, a moment of financial hardship. We did what many owners do, we moved to protect the team from what was going on versus dealing with it collectively. Even though everyone was impacted, the situation was not shared thereby creating much frustration, anxiety and misinformation for the team and great stress for the owners. The strong relationships that we had developed began to fray. It was a few months later, when things had stabilized, that I began to see that the business was not functioning based on its core values — co-creation, community, openness. This incident served as a gift to help me realize that both co-management and shared ownership were non-negotiables for me. If we were going to be hit again by major hurdles in the future, it needed to be a collective experience, one that we would see coming together, live together, own together and resolve together.

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