Collecting Ourselves: A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum

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Organization: 
Northountry Cooperative Foundation
Author: 
Emily Lippold Cheney

Collecting Ourselves: A Cooperative Entrepreneurship CurriculumThe Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum walks participants through an examination of the philosophy and practice of cooperation, the meaning of "development" and "entrepreneurship" in their lives, the steps required in starting a cooperative business, and an exploration of two of the most important steps - organizing people into a Steering Committee, and creating a Business Plan. All activities use Popular Education methods, drawing directly on the expertise and insight of participants to guide the learning process.

Download Collecting Ourselves: A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum here

"Collecting Ourselves" is comprised of 9 full workshops encompassing up to 16 hours of cooperative entrepreneurship training - the curriculum can serve as content for a semester class in university, be used in regular community study groups, or be fodder for a retreat-style academy. It was developed for youth (teens to 30s), but is modular and adaptable for most age groups (as well as for identities, experiences, etc).

The workshops are not exhaustive in terms of the technical aspects of business development, however a lot of that information is accessible on the internet or via in-person resources (e.g. your county’s small business development office). Relatedly, don’t overcomplicate things or doubt your own abilities. People have started cooperatives throughout history without the support of “experts,” though experts can certainly be a great support and are sometimes totally necessary. All that said, this resource is a source of foundational information and empowerment to get a group sufficiently inspired and on the path of cooperative entrepreneurship

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
LETTER FROM THE AUTHOR
LICENSING
HISTORY & METHOD

   Curriculum History
   Education Philosophy
   Practicing Popular Education

USING THE CURRICULUM
   Overview
   Space & Supplies
   Adaptations

CURRICULUM
   Summary of Workshop Objectives
   Beginning the Work

      Setting the Table 
      Warming Up the Group
      Getting in Line 
   Cooperation 101
      Coops in Theory
      Coops in Practice
      The Coop Difference
   Coops as Tools 
      Cooperative Stories 
      Understanding The Why
   Using Coops
      Cooperative News
      Understanding The How
   Demystifying Development
      Defining Development
      Development Continuum
   What’s Your Process?
      Riding the Bus
      Building Trust
   Organizing Your People
      The Meeting
      Taking The Wheel
   What’s the Plan?
      What, Who, When, Where, Why
      Getting Down To Business (Planning)
   Bringing it All Together
      Closing Discussion
      First-Next-Steps, Needs, & Evaluations
      Appreciations & Opportunities
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
APPENDIX
   General
      Agendas (Tool)
      Accessibility Checklist (Tool)
   Cooperation 101
      Cooperative Identity (Handout) 
      Own, Control, & Benefit (Worksheet)
   Coops As Tools
      Cooperative Stories (Tool) 
   Using Coops
      Cooperative News (Worksheet) 
      Cooperative News Scenarios (Tool) 
   Understanding The Development Process
      Cooperative Development Continuum (Handout) 
      Continuum Components (Tool)  
   What’s Your Process?
   Turf, Trust, & Time (Worksheet) 
   Organizing Your People
      Character & Cooperative: Steward’s Guide (Handout)  
      Character & Cooperative: Rolling Key (Handout) 
      Character & Cooperative: Role Sheet (Worksheet) 
      Steering Committee Agenda (Handout) 
   Writing Your Plan
      Character & Cooperative: Steward’s Guide (Handout)  
      Character & Cooperative: Rolling Key (Handout) 
      Character & Cooperative: Role Sheet (Worksheet) 
      Cooperative Business Planning Agenda (Handout) 
      Coop Biz Planning: Key Questions (Worksheet)
      Coop Biz Planning: Learning Aid (Handout) 
   Bringing It All Together
      Workshop Evaluation (Worksheet)

Year: 
2017
Format: 
Guidebook
Categories: 
Co-operatives
Educational Programs
Entrepreneurship & Business Development
Source: 
Org

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