Unlike traditional businesses, cooperatives and solidarity economy enterprises don’t have budgets for advertising , fancy networking events, or opportunities to raise shareholder capital. Often, people don’t even know we exist! This problem is exacerbated by scant data collection by government or traditional business research groups.
To meet this gap, CEANYC engages in original research, marketing, and visibility initiatives to gather the necessary data and raise the profile of cooperatives and solidarity enterprise. Some examples include:
2017 NYC Cooperatives and Solidarity Economy Directory: this blingual English/Spanish printed booklet has more than 2000 entries. It acts as a “yellow pages” and contact list for democratic businesses and initiatives in our neighborhoods. It includes: childcare cooperatives, food cooperatives, community supported agriculture, credit unions, housing cooperatives, community gardens, worker cooperatives, producer cooperatives, and community land trusts. It is the first and only directory of its kind in New York City, produced with data gathered in partnership with Cooperative Development Institute, Data Commons Cooperative, and Cabot Creamery Cooperative.
Value Chains Summit: currently regional cooperatives do not have any cross-sectoral association or event to bring them together to discuss economic and political cooperation. We’re completing research to bring these actors together for the first time, touching off new value chains, knowledge-sharing, and opportunities for collective action. Would you like to sponsor this event? We’d love your support. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Umbrella marketing: in partnership with CEANYC member NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives we are identifying opportunities to promote co-ops at local events, via online platforms, joint advertising, and through innovative reward programs. Together we recently targeted NYC nonprofits through direct mail encouraging them to purchase co-op goods and services, and we regularly table at events where we can share the co-op story.
Communications services: to support CEANYC members’ individual efforts to get the word out, we also provide consulting and media services. This includes pitching media outlets when members have news to share, signal boosting through our networks or social media, or providing pro bono and low cost consulting or services such as social media tune ups and photography services. Want to volunteer a service to CEANYC co-ops? Email email@example.com.
*Photo of Anne Smiley at the 4th Street Food Co-op