Cooperatives Projects & Resources

Find our worker centered cooperative projects and resources for starting, supporting, or cultivating worker cooperatives below!

  • Peruse our Law Center's legal resource library for cooperatives,, which provides a forum for sharing, organizing, and making sense of information related to the legalities of cooperatives, including sample bylaws, operating agreements, and plain english guides to coop law.

Worker Self-Directed Nonprofits

  • Find resources for worker self-directed nonprofits, that is nonprofit organizations seeking to provide all workers with the power to influence programming, change the conditions of their workplace, have voice in the direction of their own career paths, and provide guidance to the organization as a whole.

Repaired Nations

  • Repaired Nations focuses on building wealth in Black communities by giving youth the tools needed to remain rooted: access to land and access to capital. Bookclubs, Workshops, and Trainings will educate and inspire communities to engage in cooperative effort, while giving grounded, practical skills for collective ownership. We repair the effects of colonization and oppression by helping to weave interconnected communities into thriving, sustainable networks to equitably provide the essentials of life. Our immediate goal is to educate youth of color in California about cooperative enterprise and develop necessary infrastructure for cooperative development in under-resourced, disadvantages communities.

Anchoring Communities

  • This project uses one unique strategy to target the Bay Area’s racialized problem of high rent and low wages. It helps workers and tenants come together to take control of their workplaces and apartment buildings. This helps workers create worker cooperatives, and it helps tenants create housing cooperatives. Existing movements to help workers and tenants take collective control have incredible potential. Yet, barriers stand in the way of these movements reaching their full potential.

A National Legal Landscape to Support Worker Cooperatives

  • The Law Center focuses on worker cooperatives and other democratically-governed enterprises because they provide pathways out of poverty, economic stability for working families, and wealth generation for thriving, resilient communities. During our years of supporting movements toward democratic, employee ownership, there has been an exponential growth of community-focused entrepreneurs launching cooperatives and existing business owners seeking to sell to their employees. Both groups face a glaring gap: competent legal expertise and legal resources critical to entrepreneurs as they transition to worker ownership. In the Fall of 2018, the Law Center began on an ambitious path to addresses these gaps through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Through a multi-pronged approach of seven integrated projects, we are beginning to address the gap in legal expertise and legal resources for a national transition towards democratic employee ownership. These projects described within will be shaped and evolve based on the input from stakeholders across the country. However, even as these projects adapt to the needs of our communities, we thought you should know about the initial concepts.

Facilitator Guide for Learning to Think Outside the Boss

Immigrant Owned Cooperatives

Worker Coop Academy

  • Find information on the San Francisco Bay Area's first Worker Coop Academy, an intensive multi-month training course for teams who want to operate democratically-run, worker-owned enterprises, including replication resources and links to Academies across the country.

Bilingual Legal Guides to Operating a Worker Cooperative

Legal Advice, Information, & Consulting

  • Through our Law Center’s Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, we provide one-time legal advice and consultations multiple times per month across the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a space to come and discuss your cooperative enterprise at any stage of its development, from idea to conversion to operation. We also provide long term representation to a very limited number of clients. For those building worker cooperatives interested in longer term representation from our Law Center, please contact Ricardo S. Nuñez at [email protected].

Workshops & Teach-ins

Educate and Empower!

SELC hosts teach-ins at the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe and half-day workshops focused on educating the public on cooperatives and advising existing coops on their development and operations. Please check SELC's calendar page for future teach-ins and workshops focused on cooperatives.

One example of our workshops focused on worker cooperatives is called Think Outside the Boss in English and El Proceso Legal Para Iniciar Tu Negocio Cooperativa en Español. Done in partnership with GC3, these workshops have been held in Richmond, East Oakland, San Leandro, West Oakland, Berkeley, and in Downtown Oakland, California. We hope to offer more opportunities for this type of education at least twice a year in English and once a year in Spanish. Check SELC's calendar page or contact SELC for more information.

If you'd like to host your own "Think Outside the Boss" workshop, please visit our "Learning to Think Outside the Boss" resources page. There, you will find guides, manuals, and slides to support you in providing your own introductory workshop into the nuts and bolts of starting a worker cooperative!

Below, one of SELC's many events educating community members on cooperatives: our Think Outside the Boss workshop! 

Legal Guides


Read below or download by clicking on the manual cover. 

Co-created by The Sustainable Economies Law Center and the Green Collar Communities Clinic (a program of the East Bay Community Law Center)



Lea a continuación o descargar haciendo clic en la portada del manual.

Would you like more info on the cooperatives program? Contact [email protected], the Law Center's Cooperatives program coordinator.





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