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Grant Spotlight: The Government Equity Summit

Updated: Aug 15, 2019


With support from a CDF Cooperative Education Fund grant, Nexus Community Partners and Project Equity brought together government officials from 18 cities and counties to explore the game changing potential of converting businesses to employee ownership. The Government Equity Summit was held in San Francisco, CA, on January 31- February 1, 2019. In addition to public officials, summit participants included leaders in public policy, community equity, and philanthropy. The day and a half gathering provided tools to integrate employee-owners into the priorities and strategies of local government. 


The summit highlighted the following topics: 

  • Equity and Preservation - how cities retain businesses through employee ownership.

  • Community-Public Partnerships - how public-private partnerships support employee ownership.

  • Exploring the Possibilities - discussion of challenges, ideas, and strategies. 

  • Leveraging the Third Sector - how funders support cross-sector strategies to advance broad-based ownership.

  • Employee Ownership in Practice - how owners and employee-owners navigate the transition process and new leadership roles. 


“The Summit lifted up strategies that cities are utilizing to advance equity and retain assets through employee ownership, as well as to introduce new municipal and regional change makers to these strategies. The time together was inspiring, while providing practical tools for bringing Community Wealth Building opportunities back to their respective cities” said Repa Mekha, President and CEO, Nexus Community Partners


Nexus Community Partners, St. Paul, MN, supports strong, equitable, and just communities in which all residents are engaged, recognized as leaders, and have pathways to opportunities.  Nexus also hosts the North Star Fellowship, a six-month program focused on Black American Cooperative Economics. Project Equity, Oakland, CA, is a national leader in the movement to harness employee ownership to maintain thriving local business communities, honor selling owners' legacies, and address income inequality. 


For more information about the summit, visit www.project-equity.org/community/2019-government-equity-summit-business-retention-through-employee-ownership/


About the Cooperative Education Fund

The Cooperative Education Fund supports cooperative research, sponsors cooperative education events and scholarships, and develops cooperative education materials and programs. The Fund provides $90,000-$100,000 in grants, scholarships, and sponsorships annually. Applications for the 2019 fall grant cycle must be submitted by October 1, 2019.

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