About this workshop
Customer-owned and worker-owned cooperatives are a burgeoning business model, and they promise us greater community economic stability through the creation of socially responsible, equitable, and democratic enterprises. In this 2-hour workshop will explore questions such as:
What are the core characteristics of cooperatives? And how might a business or nonprofit adopt some or all of those characteristics?
What types of businesses are ripe for converting to cooperatives?
What is community-supported enterprise, and how might that become a step in the direction of becoming more like a cooperative?
In what ways do cooperatives typically govern themselves and how does this affect business management?
How are profits typically shared in a cooperative?
How might a business go about selling to its workers or customers? What are the steps to and challenges of converting a business to a cooperative?
What are some of the tax advantages of converting to a cooperative?
What are examples of businesses that have converted to cooperatives?
About Janelle and Marcie
Janelle Orsi is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which facilitates the growth of more sustainable and localized economies through education, research, and advocacy to support practices such as barter, sharing, cooperatives, urban agriculture, shared housing, local currencies, community-supported enterprises, and local investing. Janelle is also a ”sharing economy lawyer” in private practice, specializing in helping communities share housing and cars, form cooperatives, launch urban farming initiatives, and form social enterprises. Janelle earned her J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law. Janelle is the author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies (ABA Books 2012), and co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo Press 2009), a practical and legal guide to cooperating and sharing resources of all kinds.
Marcie Hawkins Smith is a rising third year law student at the University of North Carolina School of Law, and an advocate and movement-builder for clean, grassroots economies. At UNC, she co-chairs the Conference on Race, Class, Gender & Ethnicity, participates extensively in the pro bono program, and is working on cooperative economy projects with the UNC Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity and Ownership Appalachia. She is also the founder and current chair of Full Circles Foundation, a holistic, entrepreneurial empowerment track in the Southeastern U.S. dedicated to growing “strong girls, a fair economy, and a healthy earth.” Before coming to law school, she co-chaired SustainUS (U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development), was a youth organizer within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and was an associate fellow at the Institute for Environmental Security in The Hague. She received her B.A. in international affairs and French language & lit. from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. She lives with her spouse, Aaron, and dog, Madeleine, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Refund Policy: If you cannot attend, please email us at least 1 day before the scheduled class. No refunds will be given if we have less than a 24 hour notice.
When & Where