The Co-op Innovation Award


About the Co-op Innovation Awards

Worker cooperatives have real power to transform structurally disinvested communities into strong vibrant places of opportunity. That’s why we partnered with Capital Impact Partners on the fifth annual Co-op Innovation Award competition. We put out a call to worker cooperative development organizations that are creating tangible, transformative impact for communities nationwide. More than 100 organizations from all across the country applied.

2019 Co-op Innovation Award Winners

The following three winners of the Co-op Innovation Award, all of which are empowering workers' and immigrant rights through the cooperative model: 

Independent Drivers’ Guild

The Independent Drivers’ Guild (IDG) has been awarded $25,000 to launch a purchasing cooperative that will reduce expenses for drivers, including: fuel, car washes, oil changes, dash cameras, meals-on-the-go, and car repair.

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: United Workers' Center

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: United Workers' Center (Centro) has also been awarded $25,000 to fund a dual-language, culturally appropriate train-the-trainer curriculum for both worker cooperative developers and individuals seeking to start worker cooperatives.

CLEAN Carwash

The Community Labor Environment Action Network (CLEAN) is being awarded $50,000 to establish CLEAN Carwash, a worker-owned car wash cooperative in Los Angeles that prioritizes worker and environmental rights.

“The Workers Lab is committed to investing in people and projects that show promise when it comes to building power for workers. We are proud to partner with Capital Impact Partners to support innovative models aimed at shifting existing power structures.” -- Betsy Edasery, Program Director, The Workers Lab

“Each year, we strive to work deeper in partnership with communities to help them achieve their goals. This year, it has been wonderful partnering with The Workers Lab to empower innovative cooperatives that are meeting immigrant communities where they are and creating space for economic and social justice.” -- Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners.

Created in 2015, the Co-op Innovation Award aims to increase co-op development in low-income communities and/or communities of color. Organizations that focused on local community-driven co-op development initiatives broadening opportunities for quality jobs, wealth creation, and asset building were given priority. Some of this year’s winners are also demonstrating new models and standards for their industries that can have a transformative impact on their communities.

We are excited to work with so many organizations that are moving the cooperative development model forward in such powerful ways.

For more information about award criteria and past winners, visit the Co-op Innovation Award webpage.