This pro forma template is intended to aid cooperative entrepreneurs (and the developers who serve them) in making a preliminary financial assessment of their worker cooperative startup. Many worker cooperative startups are learning business finances for the first time. This tool offers a framework to think about their business and some labor-saving, pre-built Excel formulas.
The Democracy at Work Institute is building a comprehensive Resource Library that will include a wide range of materials, including academic papers, start-up toolkits, curriculum samples, actual documents from existing worker cooperatives, and more. The topic list below provides a map of the resources that will be available. We are also continuing to publish additional resources on a daily basis.
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This resource uses diagrams to depict how the different forms of employee ownership are structured. It focuses on the two primary vehicles for broad-based employee ownership in the United States: worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans.
For financial institutions looking to create deep and lasting impact, worker cooperatives are a powerful tool for economic and community development. They reduce inequality by allowing a greater segment of the population to build assets through business ownership. They combat poverty by providing access to employment for marginalized populations. And they strengthen local economies by rooting businesses in their communities.
The idea of selling a business to its employees and converting it to a worker owned cooperative is gaining traction as a viable succession strategy. It is a strategy that saves jobs, builds community wealth, and empowers workers to own and manage their own business. Worker cooperatives differ from other business entity types in that they are owned and democratically controlled by their workers, and workers share in the risk and reward of operating the business.