A Special Session For Small Business Owners
Co-production of USFWC ( United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives) and Democracy at Work Institute
Friday, May 30, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (PDT)
An Introduction to Worker Cooperative Succession Planning: Creating Shared Entrepreneurship Through Worker Ownership.
Introducing small business owners to the benefits and challenges of cooperative conversions, this Conversions Intensive will dig into the details of preparing to create a cooperative workplace that thrives. Participants will hear from owners who have sold their businesses to their workers, from financing experts, and from business developers experienced in planning and executing cooperative conversions. This session is for owners wishing to stay on with their business through the conversion, and those wishing to use cooperative conversions as a succession planning strategy.
Friday, May 30th, 2014
8:30am Registration and Coffee/Tea
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:30am Stories from selling owners
11:00am Selling to your workers, part 1
12:40pm Lunch with small group discussions
2:00pm Selling to your workers, part 2
3:40pm Panel: Business Owners and Practitioners Answer Your Questions
5:00pm Road-mapping the Transition and Taking Your First Steps
All participants are invited to Friday night reception of the 2014 Worker Cooperative National Conference.
More about Workers Cooperatives Converstations
Increasingly, small business trends are encouraging entrepreneurs to look beyond of the tradition of individual business ownership. There’s a growing recognition that businesses, and their owners, thrive best when employees are fully engaged in their workplace. At the same time, a wave of baby boomer business owners faces retirement. Sharing ownership of a small business in a worker cooperative format is one solution to both of these challenges. Selling a business to its employees rewards owners for years of work, and allows them to retire knowing their business is safe in the hands of the people who know it best. Or conversion can allow an entrepreneur to continue on with the business, with the increased capacity of fully engaged team members ready to carry out their ideas and provide their own entrepreneurial energy and innovation.
Worker cooperatives maintain a variety of management structures, and conversions often involve selling the business to most, but not all, of the employees. Worker cooperative conversions often leave current management systems in place, while adding a board of directors elected by the new owners to make big picture decisions. The door is left open for current and future employees to become owners, after having met requirements set out by the new owners. For more on worker cooperatives, visit the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.
Cooperative conversion isn’t for every business, or business owner, but it can be a powerful option for those looking to bring their team fully on board in building the business, and preserve businesses that are a community institution and important source of local jobs. As important, there is a time-tested process that helps safeguard this transition, and a wealth of experience to support it. This daylong intensive lays out the process and shares the tools so that business owners can assess whether it’s the right option for their business.
If you are interested in exploring if this tool is right for you, and your business, this daylong intensive is for you.