Getting Ahead Collectively in a Post-Industrial Economy

Bottlenecks and Obstacles to Growth in the US Cooperative Enterprise Ecosystem

Jason Oakes

Worker cooperatives—employee-owned and democratically managed enterprises—have become increasingly common in the United States. Recent studies by cooperative development organizations have identified several areas that must be addressed for growth to continue: finance, human capital, business support, and culture. This study extends those findings through literature review, institutional analysis, and interviews with key actors in the US worker coop ecosystem. It concludes with a discussion of promising areas for research and policy attention, especially the potential role of public finance and technical assistance programs.

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