BCCO is a worker self-directed non-profit co-op development center rooted in community organizing. We provide organizing support in English and Spanish for startup co-ops and co-op conversions, as well as ongoing training and technical assistance for existing cooperatives.
We believe in a worker-led approach to cooperatives and community economic development. Communities of color and working class communities provide the organizing strength to mobilize resources, workers bring skills, experience, and a drive for self-determination, and BCCO brings the right tool at the right time so that those workers and communities can create the future they envision.
We are part of the field of Cooperative Development, but we’re different from other Co-op Development organizations.
Co-op Organizers: Our work is rooted in community organizing, and we see ourselves as Co-op Organizers, more than Co-op Developers. Our process always begins with the workers. We learn about your needs and aspirations, and help build trust and solidarity among your team. We bring information and resources to the table, but understand that the process of researching, designing, and launching a co-op will be most effective when carried out by the future co-op members for their own benefit.
Experience: We believe in the peer-to-peer approach that the people best suited to giving assistance with a business are those who have done it themselves. Our Co-op Organizers have spent many years working in co-ops and small businesses in the roles of: bookkeeper, sales, business manager, project manager, and board member. We speak from personal experience with a wide variety of industries, and have real-world knowledge of the nitty gritty details involved in running a co-op. This includes plenty of knowledge about what can go wrong! We bring our experience to the table so you don’t repeat mistakes others have made for you.
Accountability: Our responsibility is to the co-ops we serve, not to funders or lenders. We don’t control the co-ops we help incubate – all our clients are independent businesses right from the start. When you choose to work with us on your co-op project, you are in charge of the relationship, and can give us feedback and direction, or ultimately fire us if you are not happy with our work.