Model D – Cooperation is key: Why there should be more support for co-op businesses in Detroit

From Model D:

Detroit is ripe for cooperative businesses development. The city has a thriving network of entrepreneurial and technical support organizations. There are dozens of programs and incentives for businesses in Detroit through organizations like TechTown, Build Institute, and the New Economy Initiative. Despite this, cooperative businesses have barely been discussed as a viable model for entrepreneurship and business development. But why not here? Jobs that are on the horizon for Detroiters are generally low paying and temporary. Of the 24,000 jobs promised by Dan Gilbert’s proposed downtown developments, 15,000 are temporary construction jobs—many of which will never be held by Detroit residents. The good news is that cooperative businesses are not new in Detroit, and there’s currently an increased effort to create more. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op, a membership based cooperative, is in the final stages of planning before they break ground on a brand new building in the North End. The Cooperation Group in Highland Park and The Center for Community Based Enterprise in Midtown are fully-equipped technical support service providers that help with cooperative business development. The recently founded Detroit Community Wealth Fund is dedicated to providing non-extractive loans to cooperative businesses in the city.

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