A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum

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The curriculum walks participants through an examination of the philosophy and practice of cooperation, the meaning of "development" and "entrepreneurship" in their lives, the steps required in starting a cooperative business, and an exploration of two of the most important steps - organizing people into a Steering Committee, and creating a Business Plan. All activities use Popular Education methods, drawing directly on the expertise and insight of participants to guide the learning process.

"Collecting Ourselves" is comprised of 9 full workshops encompassing up to 16 hours of cooperative entrepreneurship training - the curriculum can serve as content for a semester class in university, be used in regular community study groups, or be fodder for a retreat-style academy. It was developed for youth (teens to 30s), but is modular and adaptable for most age groups (as well as for identities, experiences, etc).


"Collecting Ourselves" is open source and free (both its usage and price) - licensed formally with the Creative Commons as a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

This license lets others remix, tweak, & build upon work non-commercially - as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under identical terms as this original resource.

This license lets others remix, tweak, & build upon work non-commercially - as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under identical terms as this original resource.

The curriculum was authored between 2014 and 2016 as part of the Kris Olsen Traveling Cooperative Institute (TCI) by its Program Director, Emily M Lippold Cheney. TCI has been part of the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation's suite of programming since the organization's founding in 1999.


Thanks to the open licensing of this resource, "Collecting Ourselves" is available to everyone for free as a pdf download, as well as for the cost of printing and shipping in hard copy format. If you value the curriculum and the work being done to create more accessible cooperative development resources, please consider donating to Northcountry Cooperative Foundation and the Traveling Cooperative Institute program here via GiveMN.

order a hard copy (at cost)

If you would like a durable, spiral-bound, hard copy booklet of the curriculum at cost, you can purchase it via the online store of Toolbox for Education and Social Action (a worker cooperative of educators). Additionally, keep your eyes out for hard copies being vended at conferences and events near you! Follow us on Facebook to hear where we'll be headed.

dOWNLOAD a digital copy (for free)

You can download the Full Curriculum & Appendix (176 pages), or download individual sections and workshops as you need them. If you are a user of Teachers Pay Teachers, you can download this resource and rate it over in the Cooperative Entrepreneurship TPT store.

Check out the Summary of Workshop Objectives (2 pages) to easily reference the content and purpose of each individual workshop.

If downloading workshops individually, be sure to download and read through the Curriculum History, Method, & Use (18 pages) and Related Appendix Items (9 pages) - it provides invaluable information for how to interpret and act on the content and format of the curriculum.

Individual workshops are as follows:

Additional Downloads:


If you like the curriculum, please share it with your networks so as many people as possible can have access to resources to support them in pursuing cooperative entrepreneurship. Here are some ways you can share the curriculum with your friends and colleagues -


Have you used the curriculum and are willing to share about your experience? Do you have any questions about the curriculum's content or usage? Any questions or feedback are greatly appreciated.

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