Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Call for Co-op Academy Mentors! Worcester Roots project, fall 2013

Call for Co-op Academy Mentors!

Experienced Co-operators Needed!

This fall, Worcester Roots Project, in collaboration with Solidarity And Green Economy Alliance (SAGE), CDI and Boston Center for Community Ownership is holding the very first Co-op Academy: "Concept to Co-op (CtC)"! CtC is a comprehensive training and mentorship program that gives present and prospective member-owners the knowledge, resources, tools, and connections to start their own business and become part of a national cooperative movement. 20 sessions over 10 weeks will include in-depth, personalized, and participatory trainings on incorporation, finance, market analysis, group development, and much more.

We believe that the best way to learn how to start your own cooperative business is to work closely with someone who has done it before, who knows the pitfalls and the potential, the challenges and the rewards. That's why we are calling for those with experience either with cooperatives or small business development to join us in supporting these budding, community-minded entrepreneurs in realizing their

Mentorship means:

Being paired with a small group working to make their co-op business idea a reality or to transform an existing business or project into a cooperative.
Committing to a minimum of five evening sessions (in person or by phone/video conference) between September 16 - November 20, where you will go over the progress the group has made so far, advise them on next steps, connect them with relevant resources, and share what you've learned from your own experiences (fifteen hours total).
After they have completed the CtC Academy, holding six monthly sessions, either in person, online, or by phone. Help to check their progress, troubleshoot problems, explore new avenues for development, and advise them on their direction (6 hours plus 4 hours misc for a grand total of 25 hours over 6 months for the full mentorship commitment).

We are looking for people who have:

  • Started their own cooperative
  • Have started their own (non-cooperative) business
  • Have worked in cooperative development
  • Have extensive experience in finance or small business development

Additional skills desired include:

  • Knowledge of small business law
  • Experience with other kinds of cooperatives: credit unions, energy, housing, producer or marketing
  • Experience working with small groups
  • Interpersonal skills / ability to meet people where they are
  • Experience with marketing, branding, or sales

Mentorship is a powerful and rewarding experience, an opportunity to walk people through the process of discovering themselves as creative agents in a new, compassionate economy. In addition, Worcester Roots is fundraising to make compensation possible on a case by case basis.

Join us in making the economy of tomorrow a reality, today. Please contact us if interested in being a mentor, or with any questions.
Asa Needle, Coordinator of Outreach and Education, Worcester Roots Project, asa@worcesterroots.org c: 774-242-2842

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