How to Convert a Business to a Co-operative or Social Purpose Organization (SPO)

Format: Online via Zoom

Wednesday January 24th at 1pm EST/10 am PST/ 11am MT/ 12pm CT/ 2pm AT


Russ Christianson: Co-op Developer and Coach at Innoweave
Jennifer Williams: Employee Ownership Specialist
Juliet ‘Kego Ume- Onyido co-founder of Whole Woman Network (a worker co-op) and Black Women Professional Worker Co-op (a multi-stakeholder Co-op)
Facilitated and moderated by: Janielle Maxwell- JEDDI Business Conversion Project Coordinator


Event Description

This webinar was a part of our Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion  Business Conversion Project. It was designed for those who are highly interested in converting their business model to that of a Co-op or Social Purpose Organization (SPO) OR who were already pursuing this process. The webinar shared detailed information relevant to both the conversion of a business into a Co-op or SPO and the development of the same, from the ground up. Our amazing speakers had several years of experience in the Social Innovation and Social Finance spaces, and offer a range of services and support to individuals looking to involve their business in the Social Economy.

We explored the following main themes:

  • The importance of gauging the workplace appetite for business conversions
  • Pathway differences in the conversion process, i.e. where the selling owner stays involved VS. where they cease being involved at the time of transfer
  • Financing options during the process and financial sustainability once in the model
  • Implementation of the new business model
  • Educating employees & adapting company practices to the model
  • Selling for a business conversion VS. to a 3rd party
  • Personal Experiences with pursuing business conversions to co-ops
  • The importance of this model for members of Equity-Denied Groups