Oakland Local's Eric Anderson wrote an article describing the turn toward business incubation centers building a new and just economy. Read the article below!
Business Incubators could be a huge resource for creating the kind of local, sustainable, inclusive businesses that will promote the revitalization of Oakland, as opposed to its gentrification.
Unfortunately, the flaw of a catch-all term like “business incubator” is its tendency to obscure important differences among what-all is caught, leading to the misrepresentation of the misifts. As certain characteristics end up most commonly associated with the term, they are assumed to apply to all versions of “incubators.” So big names like Y-Combinator, Techstars and Kicklabs come to define the genre, instead of being defined by it.
As a result, the terms “incubator” and “accelerator” are increasingly synonymous with tech-focused grooming factories that work by converting startups into roulette-like investment opportunities.
And the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) along with several other organizations including Project Equityand Green Collar Community, has created a new Worker-Cooperative Academy, a pseudo-incubator designed to help startups, as well as established businesses, navigate the legal, institutional, and tax peculiarities specific to worker cooperatives.
Some of these programs are very new. Both Uptima and the Bay Area Worker-Coop Academy are just now approaching their application deadlines (there’s still time!) for their first cohorts. Ricardo Nuñez of the Sustainable Economies Law Center said, “this is a pilot academy, we are creating the curriculum, and trying to figure out where we can, in the future, increase our impact creating successful worker owned businesses.”