Building a co-op is tough work, it requires grit, heart, and community. Check out Worker Owner and Assistant Farm Manager Ben Nava’s beautiful reflections.
What do you like about the cooperative project? I'm very excited because we're going to be the owners of our work. In a cooperative, things are different from how other companies do business, where they fire you because you are sick or have a complication and cannot come to work one day. Click to read his full interview!
Sustainergy continues to grow with the help of new cooperative lending partnerships.
CareShare was pre-approved last month for an initial seed capital loan from CUCI’s Cooperative Capital Loan fund and is ready to start its search to hire a startup CEO.
The Apple Street Market team gets ready to kick off their fundraising efforts, hiring a talented duo to lead the $1M Capital Campaign.
Do you have a co-op business idea and a team that is ready to put this business idea into action, but don’t know where to start? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate in CUCI’s next 12 week co-op development course starting Tuesday, April 16. Applications due this Friday, April 5th. Apply today!
On a fun side note supporting this work, on March 23, CUCI in partnership with Refugee Connect and Cincinnati Compass hosted a 2 hour Co-op Ideation session with over 10 participants to help launch co-ops in the immigrant community. Top ideas included catering, construction, child care, landscaping, and immigrant business services co-ops. We hope to do more fundraising in the near future to support a special co-ops session focused on these communities.
Spring has arrived and here at CUCI, we are deep in the process of cultivating immigrant, child care, and grocery co-ops to help our community thrive. And a bunch of our co-ops are hiring and growing!! Existing co-ops Sustainergy and Our Harvest are looking for a driver/installer and a food team member, startup child care co-op CareShare secured an initial seed capital loan and is ready to hire its start up CEO, and Apple Street Market hired a dynamic duo to lead up its Capital Campaign. We also had an exciting visit from the Open Society Foundation and are humbled and grateful for the national and international attention our work has been receiving.
April kicks off our annual Sustaining Partner drive to help make our work more sustainable, so we are asking all of our supporters to please consider becoming a monthly donor. We couldn’t do the hard work of walking hand in hand with our most disenfranchised communities to create co-ops without you!
Please consider joining TODAY to help create family sustaining jobs, enable parents and their children to access affordable, culturally competent child care; and create access to healthy, affordable food in 2019.
Worker-Owner Olivia Nava is featured in a brief video about notable women of Cincinnati. Check out Olivia as she beautifully tells about her work, the farm, and her experience and passion for farming. Then check out Worker-Owner Stephen Dienger’s powerful analysis of the challenges with farming in a way that honors land and labor.
The cleaning cooperative project led by new immigrants has a name, we bet you can’t guess what it is… Cincinnati Cleaning Co-op. Are you as excited as we are about this project launching at this end of THIS spring? Show your support by subscribing to their waiting list & get notified first when they launch!
At the end of January, Apple Street experienced serious setbacks. Most significantly, New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) investor PNC, communicated to Apple Street’s development partner, the neighborhood community development corporation NEST, that they were cancelling investments in all new NMTC projects in 2019 across the country including Apple Street because they had over invested in tax-credit projects in 2018. The 2017 tax reform bill had significantly reduced their tax liability.The NMTC were bringing 1.5 million of needed equity into the project. To read the detailed analysis of the implications, and the inspiring community owners response to this news and the uncertain future of this important project, read this detailed update after the community owner meeting in February.
Our Harvest joined 100 local residents and a coalition of over 33 different groups and organizations representing students, parents, food industry workers, civil rights activists, and environmentalists advocating the passage of a resolution adopting the Good Food Purchasing Program in Cincinnati Public Schools.
CareShare made exciting strides forward as 2018 came to a closed and 2019 bounded forward.
In partnership with Centro Comunitario de los Willows Community Center, we have been working with a group of immigrants to launch a cleaning co-op.
Are you a business owner, or know of one, considering retirement or exiting the business? Help us connect to business owners!
Farmer Olivia Nava from Our Harvest Cooperative and Kristen Barker spoke at the Organic Valley Conference. Hear Olivia’s takeaways.
Sustainergy adds new members to their staff and a worker became an owner.
On January 22, 2019 Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution asking the City administration to conduct a report to “raise awareness of, increase partnerships with, and support worker-owned cooperatives in the City of Cincinnati and encourage small business, entrepreneurs and communities to consider cooperatives an option where appropriate.”
What We’ve Done
Completed two rounds of Co-op U, a 12-week training that takes teams through the steps to validate their idea and launch a co-op business.
Hired a new team member to explore how to raise wages in the childcare sector through childcare and shared service co-ops.
Where We’re Going
Co-op U: hold 2-3 sessions focusing on our immigrant communities and our first online course.
CareShare & Shared Services: launch matchmaking platform with TechSolidarity and a Phase II Prototype. Launch 2-3 products for existing child care business owners.
Conversions/Manufacturing: conduct succession planning landscape assessment for Greater Cincinnati.
What We’ve Done
Helped secure Apple Street Market financing, unlocking over $4 million for construction to begin in early 2019.
Attracted national grant spotlights on our child care work & partnered with a tech group in Silicon Valley to create the beginning of a childcare matching platform.
Formed a Working World local peer network loan fund, raised over $50K, and disbursed our first loans to two co-ops in our network.
Where We’re Going
Local Loan Fund: continue building the infrastructure, including increasing funding for our local loan officer position.
CUCI Internal Infrastructure: strengthen our ability to create and support union worker co-ops by continuing to build and diversify CUCI’s funding sources and systems.
1Worker1Vote National Infrastructure and Symposium: bring together 250+ people from across the country and world, and formalize the governance structure of the national network.
What We’ve Done
Sold over 150 Worker-Owner Workbooks, our union co-op culture development and financial literacy book.
Helped to develop and move forward the 1worker1vote.org Community College Curriculum to make the co-op development process more available to people across the country.
Where We’re Going
Technical Assistance: *NEW* Individualized fee-based TA utilizes CUCI’s direct experience and original co-op development curriculum to help communities across the country jump start their own union co-op networks.
Interco-op Culture Building: As CUCI’s cooperative network builds, we are focusing on strengthening relationships and inter-cooperation among our co-ops.
Check out our impact (right) & financials (bottom) for this year!