Want to Hire a Worker-Owned Co-op? There’s an App for That

By Michelle Stearn // Image for Space Lab by AJA.

Coopify wants to bring a sense of community to the app-based booking world by connecting worker-owned cooperatives and other low-income task workers directly with consumers. Originally published at Yes! Magazine and Community-Wealth.org.

Although worker cooperatives are gaining traction in many cities nationwide, one challenge they face as a movement is their ability to operate on large scales. Some argue that cooperatives can’t extend their benefits to larger audiences because of their focus on democratic participation and involvement of all individuals in proceedings of the organization. In other words, the famous cooperative tagline of “one worker, one vote” might seem to be a barrier to cooperative expansion. But what if worker-owned businesses could “cross-pollinate with other cooperatives and clients to achieve economies of scale”?

So imagines Emma Yorra, Co-Director of the Cooperative Development Program at the Center for Family Life (CFL) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Yorra works with a number of neighborhood-based worker cooperatives incubated by the CFL, including the housecleaning cooperative Si Se Puede! (or “We Can Do It!”)—a business run by women, for women, whose goal is “to create living wage jobs that will be carried out in a safe and healthy environment.” Si Se Puede! is one of a growing number of women’s cooperatives focusing on innovations that will allow them to offer their services to a broader array of clients and consumers...


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