Business Basics to Help “Do Business Better”

Whether you’re a sole entrepreneur running a retail business, a group of workers who own a café cooperatively, or a non-profit organization working to improve your community, basic business skills in marketing, finance, and human resources can be important for success and cooperative approaches might help you overcome challenges. That was the simple idea behind a learning series in Gallipolis, Ohio, this spring presented by the Small Business Development Center at OSU South Centers and College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives and sponsored by United Way of the River Cities and Gallia County Chamber of Commerce.

A woman teaching attendees in front of a slide presentation People sitting at a conference room table watching a presentation A woman teaching attendees in front of a slide presentation

Caption: Training participants heard from Melanie Sherman, Hannah Scott, and other partners during the series, held at Ohio Valley Bank On the Square in Gallipolis, Ohio.

Explore Resources from the Training Series

The three-part learning series kicked off on March 28, 2024, with a dive into best practices in branding, identifying target markets, finding low and no-cost media tools, and exploring cooperative approaches to small business marketing. As part of the training, CFAES Center for Cooperatives staff shared approaches like group purchasing of supplies, pooled advertising and customer outreach, and shared space, that may help small businesses lower costs and reduce transaction costs.

A slide titled "Business Basics Marketing" with logos for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, Environmental Sciences, Ohio Small Business Development Centers, and U.S. Small Business Administration

Explore select slides from the finance training here.

Accessing capital and managing finances can feel like a hurdle for small businesses and community organizations. Whether it is funds to purchase a building, hire staff, or invest in new equipment, or understanding basic financial statements to make better business decisions, these areas can seem overwhelming. On April 25, 2024, Hannah Scott, CFAES Center for Cooperatives Program Director, and Melanie Sherman, a small business counselor with OSU South Centers, helped attendees learn about basic business financial terms and statements, reviewed best practices for pricing products, and outlined processes for finding loans and grants. The team introduced participants to the worker cooperative model, using a mock worker co-op as a model throughout the presentation to help attendees learn about the unique business model. Worker cooperatives, among other opportunities, may help individual entrepreneurs pool equity investments and share risk.

A slide titled "Business Basics Financial Literacy" with logos for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, Environmental Sciences, Ohio Small Business Development Centers, and U.S. Small Business Administration

Explore select slides from the finance training here.

Hiring and retaining the right team is integral to business success. Small businesses and non-profits need to consider many factors to manage talent, from meeting various regulatory requirements to keeping workers engaged and effectively reaching new candidates to join their team. On May 23, 2024, Melanie Sherman and Hannah Scott, both with business programs at the OSU South Centers, shared basic considerations for recruitment marketing to help hire the “right” employee and cooperative shared service approaches for human resource functions. Ms. Scott also introduced participants to employee owned business models, like worker cooperatives, which can create benefits for workers like increased wages, greater retirement earnings, and opportunities to meaningfully shape their workplace.

An image of the title slides of the presentation "Business Basics: Human Resources for Profits and Non-Profits"

Explore select slides from the finance training here.

Connect with the Speakers!

A black and white photograph of a sign for the OSU South Centers and Endeavor Center with a field and buildings in the background.

Do you want to learn more? Offer similar trainings in your community? Interested in one-on-one counseling to grow your business? Reach out to Melanie or Hannah!

Melanie Sherman, CBA
Venture Development Analyst

614-247-9729 Office / sherman.1675@osu.edu

Hannah Scott, JD
Program Director

(614)247-9705 Office / scott.1220@osu.edu

Cooperating for Childcare

Rural Ohioans are more than two times as likely to live in an area without enough licensed childcare providers than their fellow citizens in urban areas of the state.[1] In West Virginia, 78% of rural families live in areas considered a “childcare desert.” A “childcare desert” is any census tract with more than 50 children younger than age 5 where there are either no childcare providers or where there are more than three times as many children as licensed childcare slots.[2]

Childcare providers in Appalachia may face challenges with profitability, even when they receive available public support, along with challenges around regulatory compliance and insurance.[3] The childcare sector across the county is projected to experience a decline in employment over the next eight years, despite estimates that there are projected to be approximately 153,000 openings for childcare workers each year, on average.[4]

Colorful children's toys like letter blocks, legos, and shapes on a multi-colored background.

Some communities, providers, and employers have turned to the cooperative model to help meet their childcare needs.[5] Cooperatives are businesses owned, controlled, and used by people with mutual needs using a democratic approach. Childcare cooperatives can take various forms, including:

  • Childcare worker cooperatives where providers jointly own and operate a childcare center, like Shine Nurture Center in or Beyond Care Childcare Cooperative.
  • Parent-led childcare cooperatives where parents cooperate to meet their childcare needs while jointly setting policies and democratically governing the group.
  • Early childcare providers working together to jointly purchase goods, provide resources like curriculum, and create leave programs, like CoRise Cooperative.
  • Employer-assisted cooperatives where employers help develop a cooperatively owned and operated childcare program to enhance the benefits available to their employees, like Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care.

For more information about and resource for cooperatives in the childcare sector, visit: https://uwcc.wisc.edu/resources/childcare/.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, from 10am-11am Eastern, the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State will host a virtual roundtable focused on childcare in West Virginia. Kristy Ritz, Executive Director of the West Virginia Association for Young Children, will speak about the association’s work and challenges faced by childcare providers in the region. Staff from the CFAES Center for Cooperatives will share resources to explore cooperative models in the industry.

Register for the free, online event on March 25, 2024, at: go.osu.edu/wvchildcare

 

This virtual learning program is part of the Center’s Appalachia Cooperates Initiative, a learning and peer-exchange network connecting cooperative, community, business, and economic developers and advocates in Central Appalachia to resources about the cooperative business model. Find more information about the Initiative and recordings of past learning programs at: go.osu.edu/appalachiacooperates.

 

Data Sources:

[1] “Expanding Child Care in Rural Ohio,” Groundwork Ohio. Accessed March 19, 2024. https://www.groundworkohio.org/_files/ugd/d114b9_0a1c37a29b9d46149e444fb3f46bd3a7.pdf

[2] “Childcare Access in the United States,” Center for American Progress. Accessed March 19, 2024. https://childcaredeserts.org/2018/#:~:text=In%20the%20United%20States%2C%2051,enough%20licensed%20child%20care%20providers.

[3] “Appalachian Early Childhood Network,” (July 21, 2021). Mountain Association. https://mtassociation.org/business-support/appalachian-early-childhood-network-2/

[4] “Childcare Workers,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed March 19, 2024. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/childcare-workers.htm#:~:text=early%20childhood%20education.-,Pay,was%20%2413.22%20in%20May%202021.

[5] “Childcare,” University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. Accessed March 19, 2024. https://mtassociation.org/business-support/appalachian-early-childhood-network-2/; “Early childcare and education cooperatives can help build economic power.” (December 13, 2022). U.S. Department of Agriculture and NCBA CLUSA. https://ncbaclusa.coop/blog/early-childcare-and-education-cooperatives-can-help-build-economic-power/

Cooperative Frameworks in Ohio

An enterprise’s legal structure informs who is in control and how they exercise their control, who is liable for losses by or actions of the organization, how the enterprise raises capital, and who receives income and suffers losses, among other characteristics of the enterprise.

Business entities are organized according to state law and there is great diversity in the cooperative laws across the United States.

For a deeper dive into the framework for cooperatives under the Ohio Cooperative Law, including the key roles of members, explore these educational resources.

Image of cover for "Key Roles of Members in Ohio Cooperatives" resource.  Image of cover for "12 Key Roles of Members in Ohio Cooperatives Infographic" resource.Image of cover for "Quick Summary: Ohio's Cooperative Law" resource.

 

 

 

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice. It is not a substitute for the potential need to consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice law in the appropriate jurisdiction.

 

References

O’Brien, D., Hamilton, N., & Luedeman, R. (2005). “The Farmer’s Legal Guide to Producer Marketing Associations.” Drake University Agricultural Law Center. Retrieved from https://nationalaglawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/articles/obrien_producermarketing_intro.pdf

Student Cooperative Start-up Toolkit

A Guide to Creating Your Own Student-Led Agricultural Co-op

Student Cooperative Start-up Toolkit cover photo

A student-led cooperative, where young people in an agricultural class, 4-H club, FFA chapter, or other group, operate an enterprise using cooperative principles, may be an opportunity to teach young people entrepreneurial skills and the unique aspects of the cooperative business model, which is an important part of American agriculture.

Cooperatives are an important part of American agriculture. As of 2019, over 1.8 million farmers, ranchers, and fishermen were members of agricultural cooperatives. Cooperatives market a wide range of commodities like fruits and vegetables, cotton, grains and oilseeds, dairy, nuts, livestock, wool, and more. They provide financing for agribusinesses and farmers and they help producers access inputs and new technologies. The user-owned and controlled business model is not new – the first documented farmer cooperatives in the United States were initiated around 1810. In the Buckeye state, farmers started a cooperative effort to market hogs in 1820. If you’re involved in agriculture in the United States, chances are you interact with the cooperative business model.

At the student-led cooperative farm at the Ohio Valley Career & Technical Center’s Agribusiness Management program in West Union, Ohio, students gain real-world experience as they manage their school’s 300-acre farm where they raise row crops, livestock, and more. Since 2016, students have used a student-led cooperative model in their program, an approach initiated by their instructor, Mr. Luke Rhonemus.

Students can become a ‘member’ of the co-op and are eligible to serve on the student-elected board of directors, which helps make decisions about the farm alongside Mr. Rhonemus. Eventually, the students and Mr. Rhonemus hope alumni of the program can join the cooperative to market their locally produced farm products.

As part of a project funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program of USDA focused on enhancing the student-led cooperative model, the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State has collaborated with Mr. Rhonemus and others to provide education and training for students on the cooperative model, agribusiness marketing, and production-related areas like meat butchery. Specialists with the CFAES Center for Cooperatives and the OSU Extension Direct Food and Agricultural Marketing program helped the students and instructor develop a marketing plan and conservation plan for their farm and to implement parts of the plan to enhance their student-led school farm co-op.

Educators, advisors, and community leaders interested in developing a similar student-led cooperative learning experience in agriculture can explore a recently developed toolkit to explore, understand, and develop the model. The toolkit includes ideas for activities, links to resources and videos, and templates that educators can make their own. Users will need to consider their specific circumstances, consult with advisors, and tailor their approach.

Student Cooperative Start-up Toolkit: A Guide to Creating Your Own Student-Led Agricultural Co-op

 

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 2019-38640-29879 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number LNC19-428. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Learn more about SARE at: https://northcentral.sare.org/.

Cooperative Governance; Where do you stand?

Over the past 6 months there has been a common theme to questions, and it boils down to one word, participation. How can we get people involved, how can we get people to engage, how do we get others to join? This isn’t only in the cooperative world but in all organizations; personal and professional.
Participation is defined as “to take part in” or “to have a part or share in something”. For cooperatives, participation is a large part of being a member. Either an expectation of using the services of the cooperative, utilizing the resources that accompany the cooperative or reaching a certain quota or goods sold to the cooperatives. All these are dependent on the cooperative by the structure of their bylaws and policies.

Graphic of light colored light bulb and hands connecting colored puzzle pieces
Cooperatives are as unique as people, one cooperative is not the same as another, or the saying of “If you’ve seen one co-op, you’ve seen one co-op.” This holds true for cooperative board of directors. Participating in a cooperative as an individual is difference as representing your cooperative as a director. Directors are elected by the members of the cooperative to represent them, to uphold the cooperative mission and values set forth and to keep the cooperative members informed.

Cooperative board directors have several duties and responsibilities that members have entrusted them with such as the welfare of the co-op, hiring and evaluation the management of the cooperative, setting goals for the cooperative and overseeing the financial health of the cooperative. They aren’t the individual that is in the daily operation role of the cooperative. That responsibility goes to the general manager of the cooperative, the person the board of directors entrusted to run the daily operations. While cooperative board of directors can look similar to those from 20 or 30 years ago, today’s boards need to have a more active role in the cooperative to ensure the longevity of the cooperative is successful and effective.

As stated on the University of Wisconsin, Center for Cooperatives website, the Center released their findings from the Cooperative Governance Research Initiative (CGRI) that was conducted in 2021. As stated in the CGRI report, “Democratic member control is cooperatives’ superpower and Achilles heel. Decades of research has found that strong governance is essential for cooperatives to thrive. Yet cooperatives have lacked the robust data that is needed to benchmark, reflect upon, and improve their governance practices.” The reason for the research was to help understand and improve cooperative governance so cooperative members, directors, developers and interested parties had knowledge to compare to. Those that participate in the survey were from all across the cooperative sector. The Centers website states that the “results of the survey show that one-third of board members tenure of serving on the board is 10 years or more, whereas 36% have 3-9 years’ experience and 34% have less than 3 years. While two-thirds of board members are serving less than 9 years, efficient and effective boards need to always have a plan for succession and ways to recruit new board members.”

Multiple blue gears with various business related graphics inside, such as a light bulb, people, and target.
Part of being a board director is to recognize the need for board trainings, and educational development for not only members but the directors themselves. USDA released in 2002, the ‘Circle of Responsibilities for Co-op Boards‘ and are as follows; 1. Represent members 2. Establish cooperative policies 3. Hire and supervise management 4. Oversee acquisition and preservation of cooperative assets 5. Preserve the cooperative character of the organization 6. Assess the cooperative’s performance 7. Inform members.

As a cooperative director, how do you stack up against the circles of responsibility? As a cooperative member, how can you get involved or engaged? Educational trainings are offered by various organizations and in multiple formats that make is more accessible to attend while maintaining a busy professional or personal workload.

Could Cooperation Help Your Small Business Market Better?

Product, price, place, and promotion. One of the keys to success for a small business is mastering marketing. Whether entrepreneurs are advertising their business, using promotional strategies to reach their target customers, or working to place their products into a new market channel, marketing encompasses many aspects of business. Are cooperative approaches to marketing opportunities a fit for your small business to save time and resources?

Does your business use supplies that many other businesses also use?

Purchasing supplies as a group, via a purchasing cooperative, for example, may help businesses lower per unit costs for supplies, improve market information across the supply chain, consolidate transactions to reduce administrative burdens, reduce inventories, coordinate shipping, or even control quality attributes.[1] For example, restaurants may use a purchasing cooperative to purchase food, packaging, equipment, and other commonly needed supplies together in bulk. The Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Co-op works with suppliers to provide member restaurants with products and services, pooling billions of dollars in buying power.

For a more detailed look at the purchasing cooperative model, see the publication “A Guide for the Development of Purchasing Cooperatives,” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Golden french fries in white paper container. White toilet tissue rolls in a wire shopping cart. Yellow paper shopping bags with polka dots and stars.

Could your business advertise with businesses in the same industry or geography?

Marketing cooperatives and similar approaches may offer opportunities for small businesses to reach new market channels or audiences while reducing costs and administrative burden for individual businesses.

In Ohio, businesses in the tourism industry like convention and visitors bureaus, lodging, restaurants, attractions, festivals, and others, may be able to utilize TourismOhio’s “Ohio, The Heart of It All Co-op Advertising Program,” which provides members opportunities to purchase advertising like paid social, digital, and paid search, as well as opportunities for marketing contact creation offerings like photography, videography, storytelling, and influencer engagements, among other potential benefits.

Illustrated image of computer screen with various graphics, including play symbol, money symbol, text bubble, light bulb, and megaphone.

Does your business have the ability or opportunity to share physical space with other businesses?

In some instances, cooperative approaches to helping businesses access the physical space they need to operate or market their business might offer benefits. For example, shared-use space like business incubators or artist cooperatives might help create affordable opportunities for start-up businesses, help businesses attract new customers in spaces where customers who enter the space to shop at one business may also be encouraged to shop at others, and reduce administrative burdens by sharing maintenance and upkeep for the space and outdoor areas.

Learn more about artist cooperatives in this “Toolkits for the Arts: Toolkit 2: Form an Artist Cooperative” from the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts in West Virginia.

Open sign on inside of glass window.

Some Considerations for Working Cooperatively

Small businesses exploring how a collaborative approach might help them better market their products and businesses will need to consider various key questions. The questions below are a starting point but are by no means exhaustive. Entrepreneurs who are interested in exploring a cooperative approach further can reach out to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State.

  • Who will be engaged? What is their role?
  • How will the group make decisions?
  • How will the group be formally organized?
  • How can the group manage risk?
  • Will working together provide the intended benefit

Graphic of light colored light bulb and hands connecting colored puzzle pieces

Contact Us!

For more information about the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at The Ohio State University visit go.osu.edu/cooperatives. Contact the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at osucooperatives@osu.edu or 614-247-9705.

For assistance with registration or additional questions about events, please contact Samantha Black at black.1156@osu.edu or 614-247-9774.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu. For an accessible format of this publication, visit cfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.

[1] Reynolds, B. & Wadsworth, J. (2009). “A Guide for the Development of Purchasing Cooperatives,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Cooperative Information Report 64.

Exploring the Ways Cooperatives Support Sustainable Development at the 2023 Appalachia Studies Conference

The 46th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference, hosted on the Athens, Ohio, campus of Ohio University in the heart of the Buckeye state’s Appalachian region, celebrated the region’s resilience. From scholarly presentations to practitioner panels, arts performances, poster presentations, and more, the conference explored issues like diversity, equity, and inclusion, environmental challenges and reclamation, combating food deserts, honoring and sharing the region’s history, traditions, and culture, and much more via the theme “AppalachiaFest: From Surviving the Thriving.”

Picture of "AppalachiaFest: From Surviving to Thriving" button on green background with black font "Visit Athens County, Ohio."

The theme of the 2023 Appalachian Studies Conference was “AppalachiaFest: From Surviving the Thriving.”

Hannah Scott, CFAES Center for Cooperatives Program Director, joined a panel with colleagues from Pennsylvania and Kentucky around the theme, “Cooperatives and Sustainable Development in Appalachia.”

Dr. J. Todd Nesbitt, Professor of Geography at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania studies economic geography, including the history of economic development in Appalachia. Defining sustainable development simply as “growth that must be accomplished with respect for nature and humankind,” Dr. Nesbitt posited that “most cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development by default,” through their commitment to globally recognized principles including democratic member control and concern for community, as well as values of self-help, democracy, and equity.

In 2020, Hannah Scott explored how sustainability is a part of being a cooperative in this article.

From farmers marketing their products to consumers accessing new or affordable goods and services to workers democratically owning their workplace, Hannah Scott shared how the cooperative model is being applied across Appalachia and how the CFAES Center for Cooperatives’ Appalachia Cooperates Initiative (ACI) is working to support a cooperative ecosystem in the region. ACI is a peer learning network. The main idea is to connect cooperative, community, business, and economic developers and advocates in Central Appalachia. By helping build these connections and providing learning opportunities, the CFAES Center for Cooperatives’ goals are to build awareness and understanding of the co-op model, equip practitioners with knowledge and skills, and facilitate a connected network of co-op and community developers. ACI was born out of a collaborative dialogue between partners in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

The Center regularly hosts peer networking calls and learning sessions as part of the ACI. Find learning session recordings and sign-up to receive emails about the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative at: go.osu.edu/appalachiacooperates.

A slide sharing the goals of the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative: Develop practitioners’ awareness and understanding of the cooperative model and of cooperative development resources to better recognize and act on cooperative opportunities in their communities 
Foster relationships among practitioners that will facilitate joint cooperative development activities in Central Appalachia and allow practitioners to better utilize existing resources 
Raise awareness of the cooperative business model as an opportunity for economic development and justice in the region.

The goals of the Center’s Appalachia Cooperates Initiative include developing practitioners’ awareness, fostering relationships, and raising awareness about cooperatives as an economic development opportunity.

Myrisa Christy, Project & Development Specialist with the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD) shared how KCARD’s team, along with partners like Kentucky Farm Bureau and others, were part of an effort to activate networks of cooperative farm supply stores to support post-tornado recovery in 2022. With financial support from community partners, cooperatively owned farm supply stores were able to pivot to help community members procure needed supplies like fencing and small equipment to recover from devastating tornadoes in the state. Christy also shared multiple examples of cooperative or cooperative-like efforts to respond to community needs in Appalachia, highlighting that cooperatives are focused on serving members’ needs in a way that builds equity and provides members with control over the enterprise, but recognizing that there are various barriers to cooperative development in the Appalachian region.

For more information about the Appalachia Studies Association (ASA), visit: https://www.appalachianstudies.org/.

3rd Biennial Ohio Co-op Law Conference a Success

During the month of January, attorneys, co-op developers and co-op minded individuals gathered in Columbus for the 3rd Biennial Ohio Co-op Law Conference. This two day event held a wide variety of co-op law related sessions with topics ranging from employment law and worker co-ops to experts speaking on housing cooperatives with nearly 40 in attendance.

Keynote speaker, Doug O’Brien, President and CEO of NCBA CLUSA, spoke to attendees on ‘Cooperatives for the Modern Era’. Doug touched on the current role that cooperatives have in todays society and how cooperatives could be more relevant in the future with the economy. All which addressing how getting involved can help bring more awareness to cooperatives, whether it be at a state, local or federal level working on policy or working one on one with cooperative groups to bring awareness and education.

On day two, Nathan Schneider, Professor of Media, Communication and Information at University of Colorado Boulder spoke on the future of cooperatives and the 21st century. Nathan discussed how individuals need to be an advocate for cooperatives and to be aware of the gaps that we see in society.

Professor Ariana Levinson, University of Louisville,  spoke on the topic of worker co-ops and employment law discussing the legal structure that can distinguish the worker owners from the employees and breaking down some of the legal structure that is in place for classification. While panelists’ spoke on how the legal community has helped navigate and support the development of cooperatives around the area.

Those in attendance were able to engage with one another throughout the event networking and bringing relative issues to the forefront to be discussed. Coming from across the country, representatives from Texas, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Tennessee gathered together to learn more on defining the cooperative legal structure and how to guide cooperatives with resources.

With plans to meet again in 2025, organizers are already meeting to create another engaging conference. Stay tuned and hope to see you at the next conference!

3rd Biennial Cooperative Law Conference

Have you heard about the 3rd Biennial Cooperative Law Conference? With the last conference being held in 2020 in virtual format, we are happy to come back together and hold this event as an in-person conference packed with great speakers and informative sessions. This two day event will be held on January 24-25, 2023 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center located on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio. The conference focus being “Cooperative for the Modern Era”, participants will hear from leading experts in the cooperative field by attending workshops, panel discussions and keynote sessions discussing the tools that cooperatives need to help in the growth of a resilient, and just of a local economy. Networking time is scheduled throughout the day for individuals to connect with others to create and foster cooperative relationships.

For more information and details and how to register for this event, click here.

Who should attend?

Whether you are based in the legal sector, cooperative sector, or interested in the cooperative business model, this conference will offer informative education for all. Encouraging not only those within the state of Ohio, but those in the region to participate! This experience will show how professionals can spark the movement to empower community based initiatives to be the power to change through cooperatives and social enterprise while building relationships through our network.

Keynote Speaker

Keynote speaker Nathan Schneider will be featured on day two, presenting on the topic “21 century cooperatives: multistakeholder, platform, and DAO cooperatives – what’s new? (future of coops)”. Nathan is an associate professor with the University of Colorado Boulder with his studies in religion, technology and democracy has recently focused on democracy ownership and technology. In 2020, Nathan published, “Exit to Community: A Community Primer“, which focuses on how companies can readjust their business model to offer ownership to those within the company to create a community of stakeholders.

Nathan Schneider

This conference is being organized by attorney Jacqueline Radebaugh and several cooperators. Thank you to the following sponsors and all those involved for making this event happen!

 

 

Hope to see you all in Columbus!

Appalachia Cooperates Tours the Region’s Cooperative Economy

On January 27, the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative (ACI) hosted the “Exploring Appalachia’s Cooperative Economy” webinar. Our center manager, Hannah Scott, and cooperative program specialist Ryan Kline prepared a presentation on the region’s cooperative efforts. Together they explored the co-op model’s foundations, cooperatives as economic development agents, and collaborative efforts in Appalachia today during the webinar. According to the program organizers, the virtual event was a success, with the webinar having almost 100 attendees. That number does not include additional people who registered but could not attend and requested the recorded webinar.

Central Appalachia fosters a network of cooperatives as diverse as the people who call the region home. ACI is a learning network connecting cooperative, community, business, and economic developers and advocates in Central Appalachia interested in expanding cooperative efforts in the region. The CFAES Center for Cooperatives works with cooperators across the region to coordinate speakers and promote regional cooperative development.

Though you may not have been able to participate in the webinar, it is not too late! Because of increased interest, we have recorded the entire webinar for anyone interested in exploring cooperatives throughout Central Appalachia. You can contact the staff for a recording of the whole webinar!

For more information, or to learn more about what our Center offers, email us or check out our website.