Uprise RI – Local worker ownership an opportunity for Rhode Island

From Uprise RI:

The “silver tsunami” of baby-boomer retirements is coming. According to a 2004 US Small Business Association study, 85 percent of all business owners do not have a succession plan in place and only 15 percent of businesses are passed along to children. Rhode Island has many more businesses with soon-to-be retiring owners causing more local jobs to be lost to closures and out-of-state sales if succession plans are not established.

Combined with the threat of shifting conditions in our economy, as well as the typical fluctuations in business cycles, many local businesses are not well positioned for long-term success. Business models of the past will not work forever. Changes will need to be made. The greatest opportunities come from turning around struggling businesses. It is well known in process improvement consulting that some of the most innovative solutions to business challenges can come from the employees doing their work. The challenge is empowering employees and making them feel they have ownership by giving them a direct personal stake in the success of the enterprise. A worker owned cooperative does all of these things.

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