DAWN’s team of peer advisors has a variety business and cooperative knowledge for our clients to call on. From feasibility studies to designing a customized future worker owner training program we are available to expand the capacity of your cooperative so that it can grow and thrive.

Business Services from a Worker Cooperative Perspective

The first step in getting assistance from DAWN is to make a request. This gives our peer advisors and staff a better idea of where your group is in the development process, and how we can help you.  We offer the follow services:


  • Assistance to a worker cooperative around a specific project or problem
  • Responding to an emergency within your cooperative
  • General education about worker cooperatives


  • Project roadmaps for starting a new worker cooperative
  • Feasibility studies and business plans
  • Preliminary help writing bylaws
  • Help in applying for a loan or other financing
  • Set-up of democratic structures for governance or management

Ongoing training

  • Training in democratic communications tools: facilitation, mediation, and conflict resolution
  • Development of accountability systems and worker evaluations
  • Training in cooperative finances

The Co-op Index

DAWN brings a powerful new tool to assess your coop’s strengths and weaknesses, and create systems that help you function better as a group, as a business, as a cooperative. The Coop Index is an open source tool developed by St. Mary’s University in Canada: it asks your members a set of questions then analyzes those answers in comparison to a pool of data from other cooperatives. A DAWN Peer Advisor will help your group use and interpret the Coop Index to see how your cooperative is doing in a variety of areas like worker happiness and satisfaction, accountability and sustainable practices. DAWN advisors can also help with models and systems for strengthening areas identified as needing more attention.

Worker Cooperatives 101

A basic overview presentation explaining the basics of worker cooperatives: financial, legal and operational structures. The presentation can be customized to include history, case studies, and information of particular interest to your group. The minimum time for this workshop is two hours; it can be expanded to a daylong training. A second day – focused on bringing your idea to fruition – can be added as well.

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