The Cooperative Model

A cooperative is a business that is owned and governed by its members for the benefit of those same members. In a typical worker cooperative, the ownership, governance, and benefits are structured as follows:


Employees are offered ownership based on specific criteria:

  • The number of months or years worked at the business

  • The fulfillment of work requirements

  • An equity investment



Board of Directors

  • A majority of the members of the Board are employee-owners elected by their peers

  • The Board oversees the top manager and makes high-level strategic decisions


  • Whatever management structure is typical for the industry

  • Managers practice Open Book Management so that the employee-owners understand how they contribute to the profits or losses of the business


  • At an annual meeting, employee-owners elect representatives to the Board of Directors

  • All employee-owners vote to approve major business decisions, such as mergers, acquisitions, expansions, or closures



Employee-owners share in the annual profits or losses of the business based on specific criteria:

  • The number of hours worked

  • And/or tenure and position


Co-op Dayton promotes employee ownership in the Dayton region because of its proven benefits for workers, businesses, and communities.



  • Access high quality job opportunities

  • Build wealth in the business

  • Learn about business finance and operations

  • Develop leadership skills



  • Higher rates of employee retention

  • Higher sales and productivity growth

  • Greater longevity



  • Retain businesses and quality jobs

  • Circulate more dollars locally

  • Develop more civic leaders