For years, our Cooperative Development Program (CDP) has organized community members to create worker-owned cooperative businesses with the mission of economic and social justice.
In 2018, Center for Family Life’s Cooperative Development program helped develop and launch BrightlyⓇ in NYC, the first worker cooperative franchise of cleaning cooperatives in the United States. This year, thanks to generous grants the from WES Mariam Assefa Fund and the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Brightly has expanded across state lines.
With this expansion, more low-income immigrant women will be able to create their own economic opportunities around a cooperative business.
CFLSP has partnered with The Welcoming Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit that provides economic opportunities for immigrants, to incubate the first Brightly Cleaning Cooperative outside of NYC.
CFLSP and The Welcoming Center started conversations to develop this partnership six months ago, and so far the joint team has made a timeline for incubation of the cooperative, and facilitated five information sessions for the community. The goal is to recruit twenty-five members of the immigrant community to join the cohort as worker-owners, and then begin working sessions to incubate the business later this month, with an anticipated launch in May 2023.
Throughout the next year CFLSP’s Cooperative Development team will continue to share resources, curriculums, and agendas, provide coaching and training, and oversee the process in Philadelphia until The Welcoming Center develops the skills to provide technical assistance to cooperative businesses on their own.
After BrightlyⓇ is launched, CFLSP will remain connected to the operation of the franchise in Philadelphia, and will be on the lookout for potential new cooperatives in the region.
If you’re interested in learning more about what this expansion means, check out this feature in the Philadelphia Citizen – the entire article is linked below.