The Cooperative Model
About Worker-Owned Cooperatives
We are an example of an enterprise that is part of the growing economy of worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces. There are thousands of worker-owned cooperatives around the world, and that number is growing. The cooperative model reflects a growing movement to create an economic and social alternative to “business as usual.”
A worker-owned cooperative like PV Squared is a business entity owned and controlled by the people who work in it. Workers usually invest an amount of money when they join the business as owners. At the end of each year, they are paid a portion of the money the business makes after expenses.
In a worker-owned cooperative, the people who do the work make the decisions instead of having them handed down from an executive. Of course, many decisions don’t require a full company vote, but the option is always open for workers to offer their perspective, suggest alternative methods, and affect real change in practices.
Co-ops in the Economy
When we advocate “Solar Power for Sustainable Communities,” we mean that on several levels. PV Squared creates good, long-lasting jobs. We contribute our talents and efforts for the betterment of both the environment and the local economy in western New England. The majority of worker-owned cooperatives are small businesses, with more and more of these growing into much larger enterprises as they find success in the cooperative model.
There are some very important differences between co-ops and regular businesses.
Worker-owned co-ops tend to create stable, long-term jobs, employ sustainable business practices, and are strongly connected with and accountable to their community.
The workers own their jobs, and therefore have a direct stake in the local environment—as well as the power to do business in a way that benefits their community.
Walk into our office and you’ll immediately sense the difference: our workers look happy to be there. They’re committed to the business as owners, and the business itself is connected to the community in a significant way.
Want to learn more about worker co-ops? Contact Us
USFWC – U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives
VAWC – Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives