The Art And Science of
Cooperative Development

A rigorous three-part course for participants to develop the skills to start a new cooperative and assist groups to start new cooperative enterprises.

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Sessions 1-3

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Comprehensive Training
For Cooperative Developers

This intensive, outcome-based curriculum is focused exclusively on cooperative applications and real-world elements such as site visits and interactive case studies.  The training provides critical lessons in cooperative business model, group facilitation and start-up issues while incorporating challenges cooperatives face today.  Upon completion of the program participants will be able to:

  • Understand the unique attributes of the cooperative business model

  • Lead groups through the key steps of cooperative business development process

  • Set up effective governance models for start-up cooperatives

  • Apply strong group facilitation and communication skills

  • Assess cooperative finance and capitalization strategies towards business success

  • Advise groups on the process of completing a feasibility study

  • Prepare a cooperative business plan

  • Educate groups on the legal structure and the tax environment for cooperatives

  • Build successful cooperative development ecosystems

Explore The Sessions

Building Blocks

The first session of The Art and Science of Cooperative Development lays out the basics of the cooperative model, including governance, feasibility, business basics, and memberships. Additionally, we’ll cover topics ranging from cooperative history to building your cooperative ecosystem.

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Toolkit Implementation

This session will dive deeper into topics like feasibility, explore a wider array of business planning tools, include more information and resources for later stages of business development, and put more emphasis on the field of cooperative development and the participants’ role in it.

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Finance Fundamentals

Session 3 is a five-day, webinar-based training that gives participants hands-on experience building their own Excel workbook to determine the feasibility of a start-up co-op.

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Building Blocks: Cooperative Basics, Building Capacity, and Developing Leadership

Building Blocks 2020 is coming to Philadelphia! More info to come.

Building Blocks (formerly Session 1) provides a thorough but introductory overview into the field of cooperative development. This session lays out the basics of the cooperative model, including governance, feasibility, business basics, and memberships. We’ll cover topics ranging from cooperative history to building your cooperative ecosystem. Participants will learn from case studies that delve into particular topics in co-op development, such as investment cooperatives, conversions, and assisting groups in low-resource communities. Additionally, tours to local co-ops and ample networking opportunities this intensive, productive, and meaningful training.

Check out the Building Blocks 2019 Agenda!

Building Blocks won’t be offered again until Spring 2020, but we’re excited to offer it in a new location and reach even more cooperators with our programming!

Trainers will be announced as we get closer to the training dates.

$1400, includes tuition and food*. Transit and lodging are not included.

Register Here

Toolkit Implementation: Practical Application of Tools and Skills for Cooperative Developers

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Next Offering: November 4-7th, 2019 in Madison, WI

Toolkit Implementation (formerly Session 2) builds upon the concepts and skills developed in Building Blocks and prompts participants to use these in interactive, hands-on, case studies.  This session will dive deeper into topics like feasibility, explore a wider array of business planning tools, include more information and resources for later stages of business development, and put more emphasis on the field of cooperative development and the participants’ role in it. Toolkit Implementation includes a tour to a co-op development centers and other institutions that support cooperative development.

There may be some scholarships available. Please see the “Cost” tab for more details.

Check out this sample agenda to get a better sense of what this training entails.

Toolkit Implementation will be held in Madison, WI from November 4th-7th, 2019.

Madison is home to a vibrant co-op movement, with a world renowned cooperative development center, a supportive city government, and dozens of new and established co-ops in various sectors. Catch a ride in a Union Cab taxi to grab a bite at Willy Street Co-op or Nature’s Bakery Co-op. Swing by Madison Freewheel Bike Co-op for a tune up before checking out the UW Center for Cooperatives.

And once you’ve had enough co-op fr the day, stop by the Terrace to meet with friends or go for a stroll along Lake Mendota. Check out the eateries on State Street when you’re ready for a meal!

Airports

The Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) is conveniently located a 15 minute drive away from the heart of downtown Madison. Other airport options include Chicago’s Midway or O’Hare. These are about a three hour drive (~160 miles) away from the training site, though buses are available. The General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee is about 1.5 hours (90 miles) away from the training site.

Lodging

CW has a secured a room block with a local hotel, the Graduate for rates of $119/night. Click this link to book your room today!

Trainers to be announced.

The cost of tuition and food for Toolkit Implementation is $1400/person. Meals covered include breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Monday-Wednesday and breakfast and lunch on Thursday.

Cost of registration does not include lodging or transit. Please book according. CW has set up a room block with the Graduate for rates of $119/night from Nov. 3rd-Nov 7th. The link to reserve your room will be posted shortly.

Scholarships

There are limited resources to assist participants in need of financial support to attend. Thanks to the generosity of CoBank and Cooperative Development Foundation, participants may apply for a scholarship through CW. This scholarship application must be submitted to Alex by 11:59pm PT on September 6th, 2019. People of Color are encouraged to apply.

Scholarships may also be available through the Ralph K. Morris Foundation Cooperative Leadership Fund.  Please visit their website at www.ralphkmorrisfoundation.org to learn more. If you have received funding to attend another training or event from the foundation (including Building Blocks) in 2019, you will not be eligible for a scholarship.  All requests must be submitted at least one month before the start of Toolkit Implementation, though earlier requests are recommended.

Finance Fundamentals: Financial Analysis for New Cooperatives

Next Offering:February 4-8th, 2019

Register Now!

Finance Fundamentals (formerly Session 3) is a five-day, webinar-based training that gives participants hands-on experience building their own Excel workbook to determine the feasibility of a start-up co-op. This training requires some knowledge of Excel (and registration comes with a free, two-hour introduction to Excel prior to the training) and will build participants’ knowledge of the program.  Finance Fundamentals requires nightly homework assignments as well as a final exam. This intensive session demands participants learn and utilize practical skills for assessing feasibility and determining success factors for new cooperatives. Check out a sample agenda.

Finance Fundamentals will be offered February 4-8th with a 2-hour Excel Bootcamp offered on February 1st.

Thomas Beckett, Director of Carolina Common Enterprise
Thomas A. Beckett. Executive Director Thomas Beckett has for most of his career worked as an attorney serving the needs of small and startup businesses. He has been professionally focused on cooperatives for the past ten years. He has completed and is certified by the CooperationWorks! Cooperative Business Development Training Program and is certified to present the FastTrac TechVenture  program, the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurial training curriculum. He also provides business & legal education and guidance to cooperatives throughout North Carolina and the South. He has taught Business Law at Warren Wilson College He has significant experience working with cooperatives in the region, including worker, consumer, and agricultural startups, as well as nonprofits and other agricultural enterprises. Beckett currently serves on the Board of Directors of Shared Capital Cooperative Development Fund and CooperationWorks. He co-founded and continues as a steering committee member for the Cooperative Professionals Guild. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and earned his law degree and later an MBA at the University of North  Carolina.

This week-long webinar-based training is $800. Cost includes and optional two-hour Excel training on Friday, November 30th.

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