The "EVOLution of Business" is going to require an EVOLution of business ownership structures and worker-owned cooperatives are one promising model of ownership for a future with more Inclusive Prosperity for all.
Worker cooperatives are employee-owned companies structured on a one-member, one vote basis. Profits go directly to workers, building local wealth while creating quality jobs and meaningful change for underserved populations. More than half of worker cooperatives in the United States today were designed to improve low-wage jobs and build wealth in communities most directly affected by inequality, helping workers build skills, earning potential, household income and assets.
Based on the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, which has become an innovation model for creating more sustainable regional economies, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren worked with the Democracy Collaborative to create a "Market Driven Community Cooperative" within the Mayor's Office of Innovation. Now an independent, community-led nonprofit, it was rebranded as OWN Rochester and is led by Kate Washington.
Kate transitioned to this role after serving a key role in the development of the organization in her tenure as Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development for the City of Rochester. Prior to her work in government, she enjoyed a twenty-year career in management consulting where she worked with the highest levels of government leadership in the Caribbean and South America to reduce the cost of energy and build sustainable energy resources. Kate is a Fulbright Scholar and earned her M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business in 2004. Her civic engagement includes leadership in women’s and minority issues, the arts and business.