Winter Academy 2022
WHAT IS IT?
It is an intensive 5-month long training and support program that helps teams of aspiring entrepreneurs develop worker-owned green businesses. It is unique in its focus on businesses that are both green and worker-owned. And utilizes an aggressive combination of training, coaching, and technical services. Think of it as a business boot camp for cooperative start-ups The program includes classroom trainings; business coaches; and business support services such as legal incorporation, and access to fair financial services. The course is specifically designed so that each team is able to get their business up and running by the completion of the course.
• Training by skilled experts: members of active cooperative businesses, city-wide business developers, and more!
• Legal assistance with business incorporation and structuring
• Access to a peer-support network beyond the length of the course
• Greater visibility and name recognition for your cooperative
WHERE IS THE CO-OP ACADEMY HELD? IS IT ONLINE?
The Co-op Academy will now be held on-line via teleconferencing platforms, using several online education resources. We are no longer holding the course in-person due to COVID-19 safety precautions until further notice.
This is a live course, it is designed to be interactive in online group setting sharing experiences and findings. We do not offer this as a recorded course.
WHEN ARE THE CLASSES?
Our next course will be in the Winter of 2022.
The Co-op Academy will begin in January 2022. We will update the course schedule once we have completed our curriculum revision.
It is a weekly cooperative business intensive. We call it a "boot camp" for cooperative start ups.
In addition to the weekly sessions, all participants are expected to meet with their teams and dedicate additional time towards research, interviewing potential customers and partners, and testing their product or service. Participants will also be required to meet occasionally with the teaching team, any assigned mentors, and supporting lawyers.
The Co-op Academy is designed to help you and your team launch your cooperative by the completion of the course and grow successfully together.
IS THERE A FEE FOR THE COURSE? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ACCESS THE ONLINE COURSE?
No. The Co-op Academy is offered free of charge! That’s right. Thanks in part to support from the City of New York’s Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative and other funders, we are able to offer the Co-op Academy at no charge to you.
There is no cost to participate in the online course. We are providing several online platforms for participants to use for free.
We will inform teams accepted into the Academy as to what programs / accounts needed for full participation in the course. We will also spend time training participants on how to effectively use those programs.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The Coop Academy is designed for teams working together on a single business concept. It is recommended that each team consist of at least two people and many more can participate in a team. While the Coop Academy is open to anyone within New York City, applications from teams with a majority of residents from the Bronx, especially the South Bronx, receive higher priority in the application process.
We train entrepreneurs within any industry. We focus on all types of businesses, which includes environmentally focused businesses. Our Academy curriculum offers options on how to make your operations more "green" to reduce the overall environmental impact of your business. We show how companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN BE ON A TEAM?
You must have have at least one other person on your team, and as many as you want - there's no maximum number. Each member of your team must complete the application form (see link above or below.)
The application process for the Co-op Academy is highly competitive. We're looking first and foremost for strong teams with a mix of talents and experience. Keep that in mind when forming your team. And while the Co-op Academy is open to all, we place a special emphasis on teams based in the Bronx.
ARE THERE ANY REQUIREMENTS?
There are only five requirements to participate:
You must have have at least two people on a team (and as many people as you want),
Each member of your team must complete the application form. Each member that applies must be able to commit to the duration of the course,
You must have a single business concept in mind for you and your team when you apply,
You must reside in New York City, and
- Your team must have a device to access the online course platforms, and sustained wifi / internet access.
Note: You do not need to already be in business and you can absolutely be at the idea stage. The Co-op Academy is designed to support teams in the early stages of their business, including the idea stage.
HOW DO I APPLY? IS EARLY REGISTRATION POSSIBLE?
You can apply directly from this webpage by clicking on link provided during the months before the Academy begins.
We will follow up via email to complete your team's applications a few months out from the Academy. Contact our outreach coordinator with any questions - [email protected]. We may take longer to respond due to low staff capacity.
HOW DO I SET-UP AN INTERVIEW?
The earlier your team applies, the sooner we can interview your team. If you want to build a model green business that you and your community will be proud of, the Co-op Academy can help you do it.
All team members must complete the application and we will follow up to schedule a 30 minute interview over the phone with ALL team members. We do interviews with teams 2 months out from the start of the Academy.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE COURSE ENDS?
Once your team completes the course, we continue to give technical assistance to support to your co-op. We have staff available to guide you through completing any certifications, securing loans, and finding other resources for your business.
The goal is to make sure your co-op is incorporated and in business within a year. Each cooperative has multiple needs and many decisions to make, and it depends on your timeline. We will continue to support your co-op in making those choices and doing business.
We partner with a city wide coalition of agencies and non-profits. We will connect your co-op to a trade association for worker owned business that provide support services. We also connect teams to financial services via a loan fund solely for worker cooperatives.
We also promote the co-ops that complete the Academy through our events, organizational networks, and media. We coordinate events that highlight the co-ops who have completed and are attending the Academy. We promote co-ops online and among our organizational partners. We want your worker co-op to become visible and let other entrepreneurs see co-ops as an option for their dream business as well.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER SERVICES OFFERED?
We have a bilingual (English and Spanish) course once a year, where we offer participants simultaneous interpretation. When resources are available.
We also provide free workshops about worker co-ops.
PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS, EVENTS
Outside of the Co-op Academy course, we offer free workshops on cooperatives for youth and adults, at locations all over the Bronx and Uptown Manhattan. We also offer these workshops at our offices in the Hunt's Point section of the South Bronx where we can also provide Spanish interpretation if needed (when resources are available.)
Click for GWC Event Request Form online.
You can contact us with any questions - talk to our Outreach Coordinator
Ileia Burgos at 718-617-7807 x 704 or [email protected]
We want to thank our generous funders