Freelance work is on the rise, and many individuals are working hard to turn self-employment into their full-time job.
While unaffiliated workers are often comfortable in their at-home surroundings, they can easily become socially and professionally disconnected. Deciding to utilize a co-working space can be the risk-free, cost-effective way to get everything you need; a middle ground between comfort, social interaction, and a professional brick-and-mortar to work out of.
It all began in 1991. Dawn and Jeff Zarnowski bought a hill top property in McGraw, NY and started what they then called a 'very serious hobby'.
After 25 years of continuous hard work growing and hybridizing hundreds of walnut and chestnut trees, they decided to turn their hobby into a business. Now, Dawn and Jeff Zarnowski are the owners of Z’s Nutty Ridge LLC, a native nut nursery.
Combining “the rich heritage of cooperatives with the promise of 21st century technologies, free from monopoly, exploitation, and surveillance,” is the definition of platform cooperatives as presented in the 2017 edited compilation, “Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet.”
You may not be readily clear on what a platform-technology business is, but you have almost certainly been a consumer of one or more of these businesses, and maybe even a provider.
Marketing is ideally suited for cooperative implementation among small businesses. Cost and time required are the two most obvious reasons that might make it harder for business owners to perform, hire, or contract for these tasks individually.
In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports, according to a study by Marketo, that only 56 percent of small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) have a marketing plan.
Democratically owned and operated businesses are still a relatively little understood segment of the economy in Central New York.
But with initiatives underway statewide, the potential for employee-owned enterprises (EOEs) to bloom shows promise. This is considered an approach that can help control the “widening wealth gap, and displacement of people from neighborhoods,” according to the Cooperative Growth Ecosystem report published by Citi Community Development — a Citigroup companies initiative for achieving financial inclusion and economic empowerment.
Here’s a summary of two of the most promising developments in the burgeoning cooperative ecosystem surrounding us.
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!