In our work with individual co-ops, PACA provides direct technical assistance (i.e. co-op training, business planning, raising capital) as well as serves as a liaison between the co-ops we work with and professional services providers seeking co-op clients.
Our services and programs include:
Catapult Grants: these grants provide free and/or low-cost technical assistance to start-up co-op businesses.
Co-op Developer Fellowship: In 2018, PACA launched its Co-op Developer Fellowship program, which is designed to provide formal co-op development training and a stipend to individuals from low-income communities who are also people of color and/or from immigrant communities resulting in their ability to support co-op development in their own communities.
Cooperative Leadership Institute (CLI): The CLI houses programs aimed at developing leadership capacity, skills, and pipelines in democratically organized businesses (cooperatives, not-for-profit, and for-profit) throughout the Philadelphia region. Leadership development support is offered via workshops open to the public, workshop development for individual businesses, as well as one-on-one coaching support of co-op leaders.
Non-extractive Financing: PACA is a member of Seed Commons, a national financial cooperative that invests in cooperatives owned by communities that have been excluded from or exploited by lending institutions. PACA staff serve as local loan officers helping co-ops that need financing as they get loan-ready and apply for loans, but also by providing ongoing support as they pay back the loan. These loans are based on principles of non-extractive finance (simple interest, no personal guarantees, no credit scores, technical assistance included).
If you’re looking to start a co-op or convert your business into a co-op in the Philadelphia region, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’d be thrilled to meet you, hear about your future co-op, and help you map out how to make it happen.