Investment Capital for Worker Cooperatives: Addressing the risk Capital Gap for Worker Coop Conversions

While the impact investing field has taken off in recent years and has influenced mainstream banking priorities, worker cooperatives are not yet a viable option for a typical impact investor interested in ‘investing with purpose.’ In these two publications, we address the question: What would it take for an investor to be able to easily target part of their investment portfolio to worker-owned cooperatives, to ‘mainstream’ the practice of investing in worker cooperatives?


Strategies for the field to increase patient, risk capital

This paper is targeted at the field of worker coop practitioners, investors, lenders and advocates. We first share some of the challenges to placing investments in worker coop conversions from different perspectives: investors, existing loan funds and worker cooperatives themselves. Then, we discuss and share recommendations for each of the five key challenges to increasing patient capital investment:

  • Low and fragmented supply
  • Fragmented demand
  • Unconventional business model with unfamiliar risks, customized underwriting and high transaction costs
  • Constrained returns
  • Need for impact data

View our recorded webinar

Impact Investing in Worker Cooperatives: How to get involved
Date: Tuesday, 4/26
Time: 1pm EST / 10am PST

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.


See accompanying publication, THE ORIGINAL COMMUNITY INVESTMENT, A Guide to Worker Coop Conversion Investments

Interested in reading more from Project Equity?