About Us

The New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives (NYC NOWC) is the trade association for worker cooperative businesses in the NYC metropolitan region. we aim to increase public awareness of workplace democracy and improve business conditions for democratic, employee-owned enterprises.

Growing Employment

New York City is currently home to approximately 40 worker cooperative businesses. We are proud that our worker-members are highly diverse in age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background—and inclusive of the LGBTQ community. That said, our members are predominantly Latinas of Caribbean, Mexican, or South American origin. Read More…

Policy Recommendations

Internationally, the most significant short-term vehicle for democratic employee ownership is the transfer of existing businesses (CECOP 2013). This strategy is viewed as important for retaining quality jobs and entrepreneurial capital. In addition, successful business transfers create stronger opportunities for job growth than start-ups. Read More…

Working with Government

In June 2014, New York City Council made the largest pledge of government support for worker cooperative business development in U.S. history. At $1.2 million, the NYC Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative will fund a community of nonprofit support providers to build new businesses, support existing businesses, and expand the promise of workplace democracy to hundreds of low-income residents throughout the five boroughs. Read more…

Improving Our Democracy

“If democracy is justified in governing the state, then it must also be justified in governing economic enterprises; and to say that it is not justified in governing economic enterprises is to imply that it is not justified in governing the state.”
— Robert Dahl, Political Scientist

“A democratic firm is a company “owned” and controlled by all the people working in it. A market economy where the predominant number of firms are democratic firms is called an economic democracy.”
— David Ellerman, Economist

“A business under economic democracy is regarded not as a thing to be bought or sold, but as a community. When you join a business, you receive the rights of full citizenship—namely, an equal vote in the community.”
— David Schweickart, Philosopher