Upcoming Events and Webinars
Check back soon! Our next events will be posted here.
Date: Tuesday July 31, 2018 Time: 11AM Pacific / 2PM Eastern Host: Hilary Abell, Co-founder, Project Equity Do you love your company and want to keep it strong? Now is the time for these important questions:
- How can we engage employees in creating an even better company?
- How does participatory management bring out the best in everybody?
- Why do so many people hate their bosses? How can managers and supervisors stop generating resentment and start providing the right balance of freedom, accountability, and support?
- Could we be a better business if employees took ownership, either mentally or literally?
Join Project Equity and leaders from prominent employee-owned companies to learn practical ways that participatory management builds powerful employee engagement.
- Denise Hernández, Vice President of Operations at Cooperative Home Care Associates, will share how CHCA uses the Coaching Approach to support, improve and enhance communication skills and relationships throughout its 2300 person workforce.
- Blake Jones, Co-founder of Namaste Solar, will discuss the “Big Picture Meetings” and participatory decision-making at this employee-owned cooperative with 175 people and offices in three states.
- Linshuang Lu, Principal at Praxis Consulting Group, will explain how to integrate and align your leadership and management practices with creating an ownership culture.
- Hilary Abell, Co-founder of Project Equity, will introduce our latest publication, Participatory Management: an overview and case study of high-involvement cultures at work, and the tools and challenges in implementing participatory management.
The recording of this webinar can be found here on our website.
Employee Ownership Succession: The “Best Kept Secret” Exit Strategy
Date: Tuesday July 31, 2018 Time: 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern Host: The Exit Planning Institute
Featuring Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity
Job Creation and Entrepreneurship in the Community-Based Food Industry Dates: May 17, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA Time: 8:30am – 4:00pm Host: The City of Long Beach
Job Creation and Entrepreneurship in the Community-Based Food Industry Dates: April 23, Los Angeles, CA & April 25, Oakland, CA Time: 2:15pm Host: The California Endowment Panel: Transitioning Locally Owned Businesses to Employee Ownership: A Place Based Strategy
Date: April 2, 2018 Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm Host: The California Endowment Panel: Reformulating the Rules of Building Assets, 11am
- Hilary Abell, Cofounder, Project Equity
- John Haines, Executive Director, Community Investment Trust, Mercy Corps
- Maria Pascual, Executive Director, Prospera
- Steve Hall, Vice President, Small Business Lending, LISC New Markets Support Company
Date: January 23, 2018 Time: 8am – 9:30am Host: ASSETS, Lancaster, PA Hilary Abell, co-founder of Project Equity, will explore the “silver tsunami” in Central PA and present the opportunity to keep these businesses locally-owned for the long term by transitioning to broad-based employee ownership.
The Critical Importance of Employee Equity
Moderated by Jessica King, ASSETS Presenters: Hilary Abell, Project Equity Mal Warwick, Mal Warwick Donordigital Jerry Gorde, Vatex America Charlie Crystle, The Lancaster Food Co.
Equity in Rural Economies Tour // Pathways to Farm Business and Land Ownership
Hilary Abell, Co-founder of Project Equity co-leads a tour with our feet grounded on the land and our lungs filled with fresh air. We’ll consider:
- What does an inclusive and equitable food system look like and how is it being built?
- Who are the players in a local economy ecosystem that is growing low-resource farms into economically viable business that can also steward the land?
- How can Baby Boomers and visionary entrepreneurs implement cooperative and member-owned models in their succession planning to keep their local economies strong?
- How can lenders, nonprofits, and foundations leverage a variety of financial tools to shift capital to immigrants and farmers & workers of color to support their vital contributions to our food systems?
From Self-Employed to Worker-Owned: Discussing the Implications of New Era Workforce on Asset Building
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Time: 2pm Pacific Join Rani Langer-Croager as she interviews Hilary Abell and Alison Lingane, the co-founders of Project Equity, a nonprofit that supports businesses in their transition to worker-owned models. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. But as baby boomers retire, our local business landscape is poised to go through a dramatic shift. We will discuss how Project Equity keeps businesses local by helping them convert to employee ownership and how employee ownership builds community wealth. The purpose of this show is to accelerate the shift towards building an inclusive, just future by connecting people and ideas. Be inspired to become the change agent for your community. Our guests describe some of what’s happening across the country and around the world to improve community resilience and build a regenerative community. Envision is broadcast live every Tuesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel. Listen here >>
Even within impact investing, there are diverse perspectives on the purpose of capital, depending upon heritage, traditions, and worldview. Hear from four leaders in the field regarding their journey and understanding of this question, including an attorney specializing in Sharia law, a specialist in worker-owned cooperatives, and a long-time equity activist. This interactive session will share perspectives among participants of how they came to their understanding of the purpose of capital Presenters: Jed Emerson, Founder/Strategic Advisor, Blended Value Group Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity Umar Moghul, Partne, Roberts Moghul & Partners LLP Morgan Simon, Managing Director, Candide Group
The Economic Underpinnings Of The Future Of Social Innovation
What is the future of social innovation? With a particular focus on power, economic progress and social justice alongside the role of markets in fueling these movements, this dialogue will highlight forward looking perspectives on opportunities to bring together seemingly disparate resources that can be reconfigured into “shared value.” Join our Fellows for this conversation on blended capital, impact investing, and more broadly, the future of this space. PRESENTERS Donnel Baird, 2012 Echoing Green Fellow, is the founder of BlocPower, a startup that markets, finances and installs solar and energy efficiency technology to help houses of worship, non-profits, small businesses and multifamily projects to slash their energy costs. Daniel Tellalian, 1998 Echoing Green Fellow, is managing partner of Avivar Capital, a US-based SEC-registered impact investment advisory firm headquartered in Los Angeles. He is an economic development expert with two decades of experience in the financial services and food retailing sectors, focusing on investments in low-income communities. Hilary Abell, 2014 Echoing Green Fellow and co-founder of Project Equity, builds economic resiliency in low-income communities by increasing worker ownership. She has worked in nonprofits and cooperatives for more than twenty years, advancing co-op development, fair trade, and community empowerment. MODERATOR Cathy Clark has been an active pioneer, researchers, educator and consultant for over 25 years in the fields of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. She serves as Faculty Director at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where she founded and directs the CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing and is lead author of CASE Smart Impact Capital, a new online toolkit to help impact entrepreneurs raise impact investment capital that aligns with their needs.
Date: October 4, 2017 Table Discussions Succession Planning for Co-ops and Members. With the Baby Boomers moving toward a collective Silver Tsunami, 70 percent of independent businesses are looking at some form of turnover in leadership in the coming years. Use this session to discuss the varying challenges your co-op and members have experienced while exploring the different ownership transition strategies your members might consider. Selling to family, to other members and even converting to a worker co-op are all fair game. Speakers Gary Pittsford, President and CEO, Castle Wealth Advisors Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2017 Time: 10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern This webinar will help business owners compare selling a business to the employees versus selling via a private equity roll-up. In this webinar, attendees will:
- Learn the mechanics of employee-owner transition
- Examine best practices for setting your employees up for success
- Explore case studies of why the roll-up route is not good for the employees or long-term success of the community
- Understand the context and perspective of purchasing cooperative member businesses
- Have an opportunity for extensive Q&A
Presented by Castle Wealth Advisors and Project Equity, and joined by the CEO of BLUE HAWK Purchasing Cooperative, Lance Rantala. Visit our toolkit designed specifically for purchasing cooperatives and view the webinar slides >>
Here Today But Planning for Tomorrow: The Next Gen and Your Business
Date: Friday, May 19, 2017 Time: 8:30 – 10:00 AM Location: San Francisco SBA, 455 Market Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94105 This workshop focuses on how to plan ahead for a smooth transition of the family business and assets to the next generation. Panelists will discuss how business owners can engage into fruitful conversations with their children about their future, awaken their interest in joining the family business, and address the legal and financial implications of estate planning, as well as their options in terms of next-generation leadership (appoint a family member to take over, sell to a team or coop of current workers, or sell to an outsider). Participants will be invited to reflect on their personal and business goals, their options and challenges to transition the business to next-gen leaders, and to draw a timeline and preliminary checklist of issues to address.
Worker-Owned Food Enterprises: Keep Your Money TRULY Local!
How Investment Capital can Help Unlock Scale in Worker Cooperative Expansions and Conversions Speakers: Christina Jennings, Alison Lingane and Annie McShiras Project Equity aims to help the field understand how to unlock barriers to equity financing to bridge the gaps between worker cooperative pipeline development and access to equity capital. Local and State Policy Strategies to Scale Up the Worker Cooperative Sector (MCLE)
Legacy Business Planning
Date: Monday, May 1, 2017 Time: 3-4:30pm Location: Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA Having firm roots in Oakland helps Oakland’s businesses thrive—especially for legacy businesses that have served our city for 15, 20 years, or even much longer! Buying your building will deepen your Oakland roots and will provide security with your retirement. Many business owners don’t realize that owning their building is possible – but with 504 financing, it is. The 504 loan program allows you to purchase a building with only 10% down and below market, long-term FIXED rates. In a climate of rising rent and interest rates, it is more important than ever to stabilize your occupancy costs and provide a permanent home for your business. For business owners nearing retirement, or just looking to understand their exit options, smart succession planning can help ensure the company stays locally-owned. For some companies, transitioning to employee ownership is a great option that keeps the business rooted here for the long-term. Join two Oakland-based organizations (Project Equity and TMC Financing) to learn about succession options and affordable financing that can help you plan your Oakland business’ legacy.
Recorded April 26, 2017
Worker cooperatives are a highly underrepresented business model that have tremendous positive impacts for employees, businesses and communities. This webinar is targeted for impact investors and others who want to better understand investment options for targeting impact capital to worker coops. We will provide background about worker cooperatives and the opportunity in worker coop conversions, review worker coop investment structures, and delve into investment options ranging from direct investing, loan and equity fund investing and investment crowdfunding.
- Blake Jones, Co-founder, Namaste Solar
- Christina Jennings, Executive Director, Shared Capital
- Matt Glatting, Treasurer, Capital Impact Partners
- Annie McShiras, Investment Associate, Self-Help Federal Credit Union
- Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity
(Part 1 of a 3-part series) Recorded March 28, 2017 Over the next decade, Purchasing Cooperatives will collectively face a unique challenge in how they manage the retirement of their numerous Baby Boomer member-owners. This “Silver Tsunami” will re-shape the future of the Purchasing Co-op sector as these local, family-run businesses contemplate selling their business, passing it down to family members or simply shutting their doors. As such, succession planning has never been more top of mind for chief executives at Purchasing Co-ops as they search for available options and ways to engage and educate their members on those options. NCBA CLUSA has brought together Castle Wealth Advisors, long-standing experts on succession planning options for members of Purchasing Co-ops, and Project Equity, experts in worker-ownership transitions, to present a 3-Part series for leaders of Purchasing Co-ops AND their members to highlight these options. This first webinar catered to Purchasing Co-op executives. Key takeaways include:
- The business case for investing in succession planning education
- Succession planning options and comparisons
- Talking points and strategies to educate members about succession planning
Part 2 and Part 3 will be focused on the specific options available and are targeted to member-owners. Registration information will be available shortly for the follow-up sessions. View recorded webinar and visit our page just for purchasing coops >>
San Francisco Bay Area Legacy Business Initiative Convening
Project Equity is co-sponsoring this invitation-only event convened by Citi Community Development, the Democracy at Work Institute, and the National Urban League (additional co-sponsors are the Sustainable Economies Law Center and the ICA Group). This conversation about legacy business retention, with a focus on minority ownership and shared ownership forms, aims to move the needle on an exciting trend in business succession planning and sustainable economic development: converting businesses to employee ownership. Many small businesses – even successful legacy businesses two decades old or more – do not have a succession plan. Thousands of local businesses are at risk of closing as owners near retirement age. This potential closure crisis comes at a time when small business plays a vital role in maintaining the character and affordability of our neighborhoods. The “silver tsunami” of retiring business owners represents a real opportunity to broaden and anchor small business ownership by using shared entrepreneurship strategies to retain legacy businesses. This Initiative convenes business owners, business advisors, and economic development professionals to promote minority business ownership, with particular interest in African American-owned and operated businesses and on businesses that employ people of color, who can become co-owners through employee ownership transitions.
Achieving Community Empowerment through Place-Based Impact Investing in New Mexico
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm (Panel 1:15 – 1:45 pm ) Location: UNM Continuing Education Conference Center, Auditorium, 1634 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131 This full-day summit, for foundations, financial institutions, investment managers, philanthropists, and public officials, is focused on the role that place-based impact investing plays in empowering New Mexico communities and for enhancing grant making strategies across various issue areas. We can use our collective wealth to leverage opportunities for promoting community health and well- being and maximize resources within and across New Mexico. Participants will learn how various parts of the state’s ecosystem are coming together to create new opportunities on how to better leverage capital and engage their community in collective development. Examples of National Placed Based Impact Investing Initiatives and Models
Employee ownership: Keeping businesses independent when family can’t take over Recorded December 6, 2016 Succession planning is an urgent need among an increasing number of businesses, especially as baby boomers near retirement age. Because purchasing cooperatives are an important part of helping their independent business members stay independent, competitive and rooted in their communities, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) has partnered with Project Equity to better understand the succession challenges of purchasing cooperative member companies, and to assess how employee ownership transitions can help keep these companies independent over the long term. Moderator: Bryan Munson, NCBA Presenters: Stephen K. Irvin, President & CEO, Amicus Solar Cooperative Jack Bailey, President & Chief Executive Officer, Independent Distributors Cooperative-USA Alison Lingane, Co-founder, Project Equity View slideshow and visit our page just for purchasing coops >>
Cooperative Conversions: The Small Business Lending Opportunity of a Generation
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, 2:30 pm – 3:45pm Location: Atlanta, GA Panelists: Micha Josephy, Cooperative Fund of New England Alison Lingane, Project Equity Melissa Hoover, Democracy at Work Institute
Cooperatives: Business Models for the Next Economy
Date: Friday Oct. 21, 2016, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm Breakout Session #3 Location: Oakstop, 1721 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612 In honor of National Cooperative Month, we want to show off how cooperative business models promote shared ownership, wealth creation and community resiliency. This panel will discuss:
- How cooperative businesses can be organized, governed and share wealth
- Local and national resources for starting and developing a thriving cooperative business
- Examples of how cooperatives are serving their communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond
Track: Beyond Business As Usual Moderator: Sushil Jacobin, Tuttle Law Group Panelists: Rani Croager, Uptima Business Bootcamp Josh Danielson, Loconomics Hank Herrera, New Hope Farms Alison Lingane, Project Equity
The Growing Potential of Employee Ownership Models
The Power of Cooperative Ownership
Recorded September 28, 2016 Join us as we discuss 3 ways to raise community investments for your worker-owned coop with Cutting Edge Capital. We will cover a new approach that is now available due to the eagerly awaited Jobs Act, as well as Direct Public Offerings (DPOs), and–specific to California–how CA coop corporations can raise up to $1,000 per investor by selling memberships to residents of CA. You’ll walk away with an understanding of the key differences between the approaches, high level requirements, and pros and cons. Plus of course, examples and success stories, and Q&A. Presenters: Kim Arnone, Cutting Edge Capital Sarah Kaplan, Cutting Edge Counsel Alison Lingane, Project Equity View recorded webinar
Art and Science of Cooperative Development: Building the Ecosystem
Retire Well: Making Retirement Security a Reality for Small Business
California Co-op Conference
Workers to Owners Seminar
Webinar: The Lending Opportunity of a Generation, Investing in Businesses Converting to Worker Ownership
Recorded March, 2016 Learn about the $10 trillion lending market that will be created by the ownership changeover of private enterprises as baby boomer business owners retire. The opportunity for lenders and other capital providers to participate in these sales transactions is expected to grow significantly over the next 5-20 years to encompass hundreds of thousands of small and mid-market businesses. This is also an opportunity to create worker-owned business that strengthen our local economies and communities. Business owners can sell to their employees when they retire, creating new worker cooperatives with deep local roots. Presenters: Dorian Gregory, Cooperative Fund of New England Camille Kerr, Democracy at Work Institute Alison Lingane, Project Equity View recorded webinar
Center for Socially Responsible Business Conference: Building Vibrant Cities through Community Capital
Recorded January, 2016 The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem report, part of the “Building the Inclusive Economy Series,” an initiative of Citi Community Development, highlights cutting-edge economic development models for city leaders and community development practitioners interested in embedding equity, community wealth and sustainability into their local growth plans. The webinar introduces the report and is tailored to economic development practitioners, lenders, investors, funders, cooperative developers, technical assistance providers and organizers. Presenters: Melissa Hoover, Democracy At Work Institute Hilary Abell, Project Equity Cy Richardson, National Urban League Joyce Pisnanont, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development View recorded webinar
NCBA Cooperative Professionals Conference
Recorded October, 2015 In this webinar, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank, we review the main features and benefits of worker owned cooperatives, talk about why worker ownership is an important community economic development strategy, and introduce strategies for how traditional businesses can convert to coops. An important approach for worker coop conversion is supporting retiring business owners to sell the business to their employees. The pending ‘silver tsunami’ of retiring baby boomers makes this issue not only important, but very timely. Most businesses do not have succession plans which portends the tremendous risk of losing large numbers of these businesses altogether, or having them sold to out-of-state buyers or private equity firms that often relocate jobs or the entire business. View recorded webinar
2015 Western Worker Coop Conference
Recorded August, 2015 Are you a business owner thinking about succession planning? Or are you wanting to support locally-owned businesses to stay in their communities? Project Equity and the National Center for Employee Ownership share essential information on important succession planning options available to business owners through employee ownership. We review the main features of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and worker-owned cooperatives, and discuss the benefits and distinctions of each, including resources for how to learn more, and how to get support. View recorded webinar
Recorded July, 2015 Get insight into how to scale the development of worker-owned co-ops: how to build the capacity for this model within your community, how to train those creating or converting to shared ownership, how to impact policy, and influence or harness other factors in your ecosystem. View recorded webinar
Eastern Conference on Workplace Democracy
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) 2015
2015 Cooperative Issues Forum: Replicating Success
2015 California Coop Conference
Recorded April, 2015 The Democracy Collaborative and Project Equity organized this webinar to present the findings of our Case Studies: Business Conversions to Worker Cooperatives. We cover the motivations behind converting, readiness factors, steps to transition to a worker owned cooperative, and we hear from three businesses that have converted. View recorded webinar
Recorded March, 2015 Learn about the Bay Area Blueprint for creating pathways to ownership for low- and moderate-income workers: small businesses, fast-growing start-ups, and business conversions. View recorded webinar
View more webinars
recorded July 2018
Worker Transitions vs. Roll-ups
recorded August 2017
Impact Investing in Worker Cooperatives, How to get involved
recorded April 2017
Succession Planning: How to Engage Purchasing Coop Members in Their Future
recorded March 2017
Succession Planning for Purchasing Coops and their Members
recorded December 2016
Creative Sources of Capital for your Cooperative
recorded September 2016
The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem
recorded January 2016
Why Worker Coop Conversions and Ownership Make Sense Now
recorded October 2015
Succession Planning, Opportunities and Benefits of Employee Ownership
recorded August 2015
Scaling the Development of Worker-Owned Cooperatives
recorded July 2015
Converting Businesses to Worker Cooperatives
recorded April 2015
Blueprint for Increasing Worker Ownership in Low Income Communities
recorded March 2015
for businesses interested in employee ownership