Hi! We are COOP LA. We are a collaborative of a social enterprise and 3 cooperative businesses coming together in one space. We are Semillas Wellness, Collective Avenue, De La Luna Catering, and Salazar Landscaping.
We noticed we all had started our businesses and could not afford to rent a location but wanted to have a space to provide our goods and services to the communities we cared about.
So what did we do? We joined forces to grow cooperatively, build our mission and find a location to share with each other as a hub for locals to enjoy.
How do we keep growing? By engaging the community!
According to Nielsen Research, there is an “Entrepreneurship Boom” happening in the Latinx community. Our segment is growing faster than any other ethnicity.
What could make us grow so fast? We are all about our families, we love to use social media, and we are entrepreneurs at heart!
However, the Latinx community faces its fair share of challenges, even more so when you come from a working class background. Starting a business alone is hard to do, so a way to alleviate the stress and share the success is by engaging those around you, from your family to your fellow community members.
At COOP LA, we developed the 3Cs of Local Engagement :
Create Collaborate & Calibrate
There are many benefits of engaging your business with the community:
Meeting community needs – you don’t come in as an outsider, but as a listener to polish up your product or service.
Connect your community through creative outlets such as art and music – invite locals to express themselves.
Practice worker democracy inside the workplace – give more power to the workers in teaching them about cooperative workplace practices!
Want to take it a step further? Consider making your business a worker cooperative!
What is different about a cooperative business?
Cooperatives are owned and run by the workers, and there is no boss at the top exploiting. This holds everyone in the workplace accountable in exchange for equal voting rights and decision making for the benefit of everyone. Cooperatives follow 7 principles that include autonomy, democracy, and of course engaging the community. Talk about starting a movement to give power to our people!
If you want to learn more about COOP LA or would like to get involved, feel free to check out our story and donate to our campaign so we can launch our official grand opening!