Worker cooperatives are businesses owned and operated by the workers. Members make democratic decisions about how to run the business, with each member having one vote. Worker cooperatives, like other cooperatives, follow the International Cooperative Alliance Principles, which are voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education and training, cooperation among cooperatives, and concern for community.
Some worker cooperatives begin as cooperatives, formed by members coming together to meet a shared need. Other worker cooperatives start as conventional businesses and convert to worker ownership, sometimes when the owner is retiring.
There are many resources for starting a worker cooperative and for converting an existing business into a worker cooperative.
Locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, there are many resources for cooperatives. Learn more about other cooperative organizations and how they can support you.