$15,000 New Sun Rising/Pittsburgh Chamber of Cooperatives: Think Outside The Boss!
PROJECT: Think Outside The Boss!
PROGRAM: 2015 Small & Simple Grants
GRANTEE: New Sun Rising/Pittsburgh Chamber of Cooperatives (PCOC)
The Pittsburgh Chamber of Cooperatives’ (PCOC) target audience are workers and business owners who are interested in a non-hierarchical enterprise; especially people who experience difficulty making a living wage or who are locked into part-time employment, displaced workers, minority business and trades people who very often find inadequate opportunity and people who are working in industries that typically have poor working conditions.
PCOC will work in transitional communities such as but not limited to: the Hilltop neighborhoods, Hazlewood, the Hill, Homewood, Larimer and areas outside of the city such as Braddock and Homestead. The PCOC is working with inclusive and neighborhood based efforts to provide more opportunity for their residents and with early stage businesses to explore the benefits of their becoming cooperative businesses and to help them get established as cooperatives.
To effectively reach more people, the PCOC will:
- Raise awareness of the benefits and the how-to of cooperatives through informational workshops, speaking at relevant community development and entrepreneurship events, and “game nights” featuring a board game appropriately named “Co-opoly”.
- Conduct educational and networking events to help grow the cooperative movement in collaboration with other organizations such as the New Economy Campaign, the Braddock Library, and Urban Innovation 21.
- Provide hands-on technical assistance to new and existing cooperatives, focusing on worker-owned businesses but able to advise producer and consumer cooperatives. The approach is to help develop the whole enterprise and use existing business development resources in tandem with the PCOC’s guidance on matters unique to cooperatives.
- Gather intelligence on what members need and advocate on their behalf regarding cooperative business needs, challenges and issues, and opportunities. This is continuously done through the PCOC web site, member surveys, the channels listed above, and occasional group interviews.
- Financing to strategically support the establishment of small new cooperatives