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So You Want to Retire

Presentation by Peter Hough Excerpt: Key Issues: -Founding and Long Term Members Retirement Security Relinquishing member/ownership and it benefits Worker Co-operative New Members Viability Cash Flow Debt Load Knowledge Transfer …continued in attachment. So You Want to Retire_0

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Guidelines for Determining Whether or Not There Is an Employer-Employee Relationship in a worker Co-op

This Brief attempts to highlight the criteria used to determine whether or not a worker co-op has an employer-employee relationship or is classed as a group of independent contractors. Excerpt: Purpose of This Document 1. The purpose of this Brief is to outline the nature of worker co-operatives and the method for determining whether or not a given worker co-operative embodies an employer/employee relationship between the co-operative and its members. Definition of a Worker Co-operative 2. A worker co-operative does not have a legal definition in most jurisdictions. In terms of a functional definition, a worker co-operative is a business functioning as a co-operative which is owned and controlled by its worker-members. In other words, a worker co-operative is a worker-owned business which is governed on the basis of the internationally recognized, democratic principles of co-operatives. 3. The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) classifies as a “worker co-operative” any business…

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The Worker Co-operative Movements in Italy, Mondragon and France: Context, Success Factors and Lessons

Abstract The objective of this paper is to analyze the public policy environment, capitalization environment, availability of federation support, and the context for the worker co-op movements in each of Italy, Mondragon (Spain) and France. These three countries or regions have the largest, most dynamic worker co-op movements in the world. To grow a large worker co-op movement, a system of supports is required to enable the transfer of appropriate knowledge to many people, in addition to having access to worker coop-friendly sources of capital. Although there were some success factors in each region which could not be easily replicated in other places and although there were significant differences among regions, there were many common elements contributing to the success of the worker co-op movement in all three places. These were: (1) sufficient capital accessible to worker co-ops; (2) technical assistance provided to worker co-ops in the start-up phase; (3)…

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An Ongoing Challenge: Managing Equity

In a previous column, Alain Bridault, President, ORION cooperative research and consulting, we stressed the importance of managing the acceptability of decisions taken by the board of directors or senior management in their respective powers fields .We pointed out that the only right decisions are decisions well accepted by the members, that is to say, understood by all, so well explained through internal communication channels established by the cooperative. For more information, download the file. C7_0

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Preparing and Marketing Financing Proposals: A Plain Language Guide for Worker Co-ops

Excerpt: The purpose of this Guide is to help you navigate the financial planning and marketing process for your co-op. There is really no distinction between what your business plan and/or financing proposals need in order to get approved by financiers and what your co-op needs in order to succeed. As a general rule: whatever is of priority to potential financiers is also important for your co-op’s business success. This guide is divided into two sections. The first, Preparing Your Financing Strategy, describes the various forms of financing available to a worker co-op and their characteristics. It discusses concepts and issues to consider regarding financing options when putting together a financing strategy for your start-up or already-operating worker co-operative. The second section, Marketing Your Financing Proposal, addresses the issues and processes involved in presenting financial proposals to prospective financiers. …continued in attachment. WorkerCo-opCapitalGuideFNL-2012

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Starting a Worker Co-op: A Canadian Handbook

So you want to start a worker co-op? This handbook outlines the basic information and the processes required to start a worker co-op. Excerpt: II. What are the Co-op Principles and Values and where do they come from? In the previous section, we noted that worker co-ops are enterprises that operate by following the Co-operative Principles and Values. Without providing a long history of co-operatives, this section will provide an answer to the question in the above heading, as well as providing some brief comments on the practical issues of applying the co-op principles and values to a worker co-op. The most recent version of the Co-operative Principles and Values were developed by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). The ICA is an umbrella organization that brings together co-operatives from all over the world to collaborate with one another and to support the development of the co-operative form of enterprise. Although co-ops…

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International Experts on Employee Ownership and Business Succession Gather in Quebec City

By Bruce Reynolds (Rural Cooperatives Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012 – United States Department of Agriculture) The retirement of the baby-boom generation will have major economic effects. One of these will be turnover in ownership, or closure, of many small businesses. When the present owners wish to retire, the most readily available buyers are local or regional competitors. Yet, many of them may close the competing businesses they acquire. The closure outcome is often avoided with succession planning for new owners such as the employees. The challenge of sustaining small, mostly family-owned, businesses, is confronting many countries in addition to the U.S. Canadian cooperative organizations hosted a conference on business succession and employee ownership last October in Quebec City (www.cooperation2011.coop). This conference proved to be extraordinary both in its international scope and in the expertise that speakers and audience brought to the discussion of issues in transitioning ownership to employees. Quebec City…

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Workshop Summary- Generations in Worker Co-ops

On October 15, 2011 there was a workshop at the North American Worker Co-operative Conference in Quebec City titled ‘Generational Change in a Worker Co-op’ hosted by EnerGreen Builders’ Eric Tusz-King and CICOPA’s Bruno Roelants. The following are notes taken by Eric Tusz-King, Member of EnerGreen Builders Co-operative, Sackville, New Brunswick. Relationships are complex: People are individuals with different experiences and gifts and concerns People are the products of their generation and there are characteristics of different generations Not all people of a generation are similar any more than individuals are similar In the past it was about young and old and the old had experienced the same things as the younger generation. This is still true, but there are also differences in generational assumptions about life and work. Commitment to work Long term At work Accountability to others Commitment to a cause Commitment to family Assumptions about roles and…

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