Social Enterprise

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This page was originally started by the Social Enterprise Working Group of Occupy Boston.

It has become a place to list resources for people starting Social Enterprises and Worker Collectives to collaborate, share resources, hold events to attract partnerships, etc. We need help organizing events, and doing research for those that are starting operations up.

Here are a couple of resource lists:

[Cooperative Development Institute's Co-op Resource List]

[WORC'N's Resource List]

See more info below about the orgs that created these lists.

WORC'N ( are happening every month for people already involved in co-ops in the Boston area. These meetings will be split into "networking" and "learning" portions of the meetings, including "Co-Op 101" lectures which detail steps to help people get started. A full Co-Op 101 school is offered for a fee at the Cooperative Development Institute (see links below).

If you are just curious about the co-op "thing", or are looking for people to join up and create co-ops, the Lucy Parsons Bookshop is hosting meetups in JP.

If you are in Western Mass, check these guys out: There's also another one starting up, out of Occupy Berkshires.


Social Enterprises are organizations that are "people before profit". Some may be non-profits. Some may be "for profit", but not entirely for profit, because they are responsible to the community.

Occupy-inspired presentation about the importance of Social Enterprise, and the "Solidarity Economy":

To find out what a "Social Enterprise" is considered, see this information from one group:

This working group is focused on discussing what we believe is an appropriate Social Enterprise. And to coordinate/collaborate with resources, folks that want to start operations, folks that are already operating, and people that want to help.

This will include discussing what we, as a group, think are good "guiding principles" for Social Enterprises and [Worker Collectives/Cooperatives].

There are already Social Enterprises operating all around us. And those that are starting up already because of connections that were made and are being made through Occupy communities. For a list of those we know about that are associated directly or indirectly with Occupy Boston, please go here Social Enterprise List

See here for guide on forming partnerships, a low-fi/low-cost way of starting your co-op: This method does not "eliminate" risk like corporate law does, but it helps you get started cheaper/faster. It's fine for most businesses to do it this way.

Types of OB Groups Serving Social Enterprises

So far, there appear to be three groups emerging out of Occupy Boston with slightly different focuses. Here's our best guess at how this is evolving:

1. [Sustainable Economy] Policy Working Group - What the business world should look like and what public and private policies can be implemented to realize that vision.

2. [Social Enterprise Working Group] - What the standards are that make an individual business "sustainable"

3. [Social Enterprises] (S.Ent) - The actual operations of Occupy Boston affiliated Social Enterprises and [Worker Collectives]

4. Consumer Action - How we can coordinate consumer spending to influence individual firms or industries to improve their social and environmental impact. (list of direct action ideas is coming...if you're from Direct Action, tell us where to put these, please). The Sustainable Economy WG is developing a list.


Contact: elise.moussa @

[click here to get to the page to join the list]

Meeting Info

MEETINGS: There's the "Social Enterprise WG meeting", which is about all Social Enterprise forms, which meets in Kendall Square. The next meeting isn't scheduled yet. Then there's also the "Co-Op Meeting in Newton, which is focused ONLY on Co-Ops. R. Wayne Clark holds the latter in his house on Thurdsay nights. Contact him at:

Old Meeting notes, Wednesday 2/22, Social Enterpirse Meeting Notes 2-22-12

  • Inspiration, like why bother:

Presentation about why the Occupy movement can take back the economy: , lots of great background/links. There’s a foldable two-sided version. Write to the author.

The presentation given to OWS:

[PBS covers "The New Economy"] talks about a living sustainable economy...where social enterprises are flourishing in the US right now.

  • Healthplan:

NASRO (National Association of Socially Responsible Organizations) which you can join and, through them, access group plans.

  • Bookkeeping and Accounting: For bookkeeping, the Dedham Artists Guild works with Nancy Nichols(

  • Successful Local Ops, for mentoring/advice

Community Builders Coop (CBC), local the renovation/construction cooperative, a worker-owned coop for over 25 years, 617.623.8340, Paul Breneman and Mark Rudnick

Red Sun Press (printing),

[List of Boston Co-Ops]

  • Succesful International Ops

Mondragon model

  • Associations and Advice

Worker-Owned and Run Cooperative Network The next WORC'N meeting will be Thursday, March 15th, tentatively at the Community Builders Cooperative, just outside Union Square on the Somerville/Cambridge line- 24 Webster Ave, Suite 2. It’ll be to talk about fundraising and promotion for the conference.

BCCO - the Boston Center for Community Ownership is a grassroots co-op development center They partner with grassroots community-based organizations, as well as "independent cooperators", to create sustainable, democratic cooperative businesses.

National Worker Co-op Group/Conference (a fee, maybe $20?): cooperative-conference this might be the contact:

[Boston Collective House Assembly] Meetings monthly

Calendar for Boston Coop Assembly:

"Every second Saturday the Collective House Assembly meets at Encuentro 5 (33 Harrison Ave, 5th floor) to hash out ideas and work on projects to support collective living in the Boston area. We encourage all Boston collective & cooperative houses to send a rep! Interested folks who don't live in co-ops are welcome, too."

[National Co-Op Business Association]

[University of Wisconsin Center for Co-operatives]

List of Co-Op Development Guides:

  • Business Plan Advice/Templates (WARNING, LARGE FILE)

Forming a "partnership" (low-cost way of forming an enterprise): Warning: greater risk involved...but fine for most businesses, when they are in start-up mode.

  • Seed Money/Loans/Advice

[Boston Collective House Assembly List of Organizations that Support Co-Ops]

Cooperative Fund of New England (loans) Micha Josephy

Equal Exchange, Aaron Dawson

Newell Lessell of the ICA Group Chris Mackin of Ownership Associates

Cooperative Development Institute Noémi Giszpenc, Executive Director P.O. Box 422, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370 Ph: 1-877- NE COOPS, 413-665-1271 x2 Fax: 413-541-8300, CDI on Facebook / Twitter

The UN declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives (, cuz co-ops make the world better…

Terry Mollner: Founder of the Calvert Socially Responsible Investment Fund & Foundation Founder & Executive Director of Trusteeship Institute (Promotes Mahatma Gandhi’s Economic Ideas), Member of the Board of Ben & Jerry’s. Chair of StakeHolders Capital, Inc. in Amherst, MA, a socially responsible asset management firm, a founder in 1982 and member of the board of the Calvert Social Investment Funds, Inc. ($6 billion under management), a founder of the Calvert Foundation that raises low interest capital from the public and invests it in low income housing and microloan programs around the world ($550 million under management) and a member of the Board of Directors of Ben & Jerry's.

Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts

  • Other Lists of Resources

[Great Resource Wiki focused on Boston Co-Op Resources]

lots of resources in the fotenotes in this doc:

job boards focused on social enterprises