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 Block 2020 will be offered online  from June 30th-July 23rd. Read on to learn more about this year’s unqiue program!

Registration for this program has ended.

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.

As COVID-19 has forced us all to change our plans, CooperationWorks is transforming our four-day in-person training into a virtual training held on eight days over the course of a month. While this is the same cohesive and robust training we’ve offered in the past, this format allows participants to register for and participate in select days if they are unable to attend the entire training. Registering for the complete course comes with a significant discount.

Building Blocks will be offered via an online course in Summer 2020. Please see the schedule below:

  • June 30th: Co-ops 101: The Basics Day!
  • July 2nd: Cooperation Works?: The People Day!
  • July 7th: Business Time: The Business Day!
  • July 9th: Feasibility: The “Will It Work?” Day!
  • July 14th: Co-op Sectors I: The General, Consumer, and Worker Day!
  • July 16th: Co-op Sectors II: The Service, Housing, and Producer Day!
  • July 21st: All the Power to All the People: The Case Studies Day!
  • July 23rd: Cooperative Ecosystems: The “Build-It-To-Last” Day!

Trainers will be updated shortly!

Registration for the entire program (eight days): $1200

Scholarship Applications are being accepted until Friday, June 12th. Only participants registering for the entire session are eligible to receive a scholarship.

  • June 30th: Co-ops 101: The Basics Day!: $FREE
  • July 2nd: Cooperation Works?: The People Day! : $250
  • July 7th: Business Time: The Business Day! $250
  • July 9th: Feasibility: The “Will It Work?” Day!: $250
  • July 14th and 16th: Co-op Sectors I & II: $350
  • July 21st: All the Power to All the People: The Case Studies Day!: $250
  • July 23rd: Cooperative Ecosystems: The “Build-It-To-Last” Day!: $250

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

Offered November 16th-December 18th, 2020
Offered Online Via Zoom
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN. REGISTER HERE.
Early Bird Special: Save $100 when you register by November 2nd
Check out the  Agenda

CooperationWorks will offer an online version of Toolkit Implementation so cooperative developers can continue building critical skills and expertise in the field of cooperative development. This program will be offered over the course of a month, with two days of classes a week totaling 3-5 hours/day. 

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 hands-on case studies, peer clinicals, and plenty of opportunties to practice your co-op develoment skills!

Toolkit Implementation will be offered from November 17th-December 18th. Core curriculum will be offered on the following days:

  • Monday, November 16th (Orientation)
  • Tuesday, November 17th
  • Thursday, November 19th
  • Tuesday, December 1st
  • Thursday, December 3rd
  • Tuesday, December 8th
  • Thursday, December 10th
  • Tuesday, December 15th
  • Thursday, December 17th

Check out the Trainers for Toolkit Implementation Online. Check back as we continue to update!

  • Teia Evans, Associate Director, Carolina Common Enterprise
  • Margaret Bau, Cooperative Development Specialist, US Department of Agriculture
  • Courtney Berner, Executive Director, UW Center for Cooperatives
  • Nat Marineau Begej, Cooperative Educator
  • Alex Stone, Executve Director, CooperationWorks!
  • Ricardo Nuñez, Director of Economic Democracy, Sustainable Economies Law Center
  • Christina Jennings, Executive Director, Shared Capital Cooperative
  • Esther West, Cooperative Development Specialist, UW Center for Cooperatives
  • Margaret Lund, Principal, Co-opera
  • Stuart Reid, Executive Director, Food Co-op Initiative

The cost of tuition and food for Toolkit Implementation is $1200/person. If you register by Monday, Novermber 2nd, you receive an early bird discount fo $100!

Finance Fundamentals: Financial Analysis for New Cooperatives

Next Offering:January 2021
More Details Coming Soon!

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 in January 2021 via Zoom Video Conferencing.

Lead Trainer: Corrigan Nadon Nichols

Corrigan Nadon-Nichols has been consulting for non-profits, small businesses, cooperatives, and condominium associations for over ten years. He has assisted dozens of groups through initial formation, start-up, expansion, and recovering from crises. Corrigan has managed staff teams as well as boards of directors and has experience bridging the divides between different groups of stakeholders in an organization or business. Corrigan is also an experienced trainer and educator, who focuses on building the capacity of his clients.

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