11/6 EVENT: “We Can Own It” Workshop to Provide First Step for Starting Worker-owned Co-op

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Abundance Food Co-op, Ibero American Development Corp. (IADC), and Small World Food Collective will host a workshop to connect residents of Rochester’s Northeast neighborhoods with resources and expertise needed for starting a worker-owned business.

“We Can Own It: Creating New Businesses in Our Neighborhood” will take place on Sunday, November 6, from 4:00-6:00 pm.

Attendees will have the opportunity to

  • learn the basics of how a co-operative business works,
  • find opportunities for funding a co-operative business,
  • and connect with local and national resources available to help launch a co-operative business.

Locally-made food will also be provided, courtesy of Abundance Food Co-op, Once Again Nut Butter (a worker-owned co-op), and Small World Food.

Event details

What: “We Can Own It: Creating New Businesses in Our Neighborhood”
When: 4:00-6:00 pm on Sunday, November 6, 2016
Where: Ibero Children and Family Stability Services, 777 Clifford Ave., Roc., NY 14621
No cost. All are welcome with a special invitation to residents of Rochester’s Northeast neighborhoods. Free food will be available from 4:00 pm.

Education ahead of Rochester’s worker co-op plan

Worker co-operatives, or “co-ops,” can help create economic breakthroughs in cities like Rochester where poverty and unemployment are growing challenges. They offer an alternative to building local economies from the traditional model of providing subsidies to attract corporate investment in an area.

Here in Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren is actively supporting a $1.3 million plan to implement worker co-ops in the city as part of her anti-poverty initiative. The plan is based on the Evergreen Co-operatives program in Cleveland, which has had success in creating worker-owned businesses there.

“We Can Own It” offers an educational opportunity for potential entrepreneurs who live within one of the neighborhoods that Mayor Warren’s plan targets.

Rochester joins other US cities that are currently considering similar plans as a more sustainable response to poverty, including Denver, CO, Philadelphia, PA, and Madison, WI.

About the organizers

Abundance Food Co-op is Rochester’s only community-owned grocery store. Abundance offers a wide selection of locally-sourced, ethically-made food. Often organic, its produce, groceries, everyday deli items, and large bulk foods section offer Rochester shoppers healthy choices at reasonable prices. As a co-op, Abundance is democratically run by its more than 2,400 shareholders in Rochester.

Ibero American Development Corporation (IADC) is a nonprofit launched in 1986 as an affiliate of the Ibero American Action League. IADC renovates and manages buildings and affordable homes in Rochester. Projects include the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School and El Camino Estates, an affordable rental project with 25 units for low-income people with disabilities.

Small World Food Collective is a worker cooperative in Rochester that makes organic bread, fermented foods, and many other specialty food items. The business is owned and run by the people who work there. The profit they generate stays in the local community, and the employees all have a personal investment in the success of their business.

For more information, contact Chris Whitebell by email or at (585) 454-2667.

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