News & Resources

Learning to Think Outside the Boss: An Introductory Workshop on the Legal Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Worker Cooperative

Apr 1, 2016 | Resources

This workshop provides an introduction to the practical steps individuals and groups need to take to establish, build, and successfully run a cooperative enterprise. This introductory workshop attempts to bring forward basic legal and structural questions such as what is a cooperative, what is a legal entity, what rules govern fundraising and financing for cooperatives, and more. This workshop provides an overview of the content contained in SELC's Think Outside the Boss: How to Create a Worker-Owned Business manual. Facilitators, it's important to read the Think Outside the Boss manual prior to facilitating this workshop!

Why Do it? This workshop is meant to provide an introduction for those looking to support cooperative development and for entrepreneurs and activists seeking to build a worker cooperative. By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to

  • have a basic understanding of the cooperative form from a functional and principled perspective,
  • understand the Cooperative Principles in practice,
  • distinguish cooperatives from other business forms,
  • distinguish between the different kinds of cooperatives,
  • understand basic questions that should be asked when founding a worker cooperative,
  • and think about cooperatives as they relate to the needs in community members' lives.

Method: Facilitators should use a combination of lecture (minimal), experiential learning, and popular education techniques to engage the group actively in the process of learning about worker cooperatives and cooperative business development.

Authors: Ricardo Nunez and Sushil Jacob

**Please see for the facilitator guide, the participant guide, slides, and the Think Outside the Boss manual itself.




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