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The Madison Cooperative Development Coalition (MCDC) is an initiative to form worker cooperatives that address income inequality and racial disparities by creating living-wage and union jobs. It is largely funded by the City of Madison, Wisconsin. We are a collaborative of community-based organizations, labor unions and cooperative developers. MCDC works to support the growth and creation of worker cooperatives, specifically addressing the factors affecting local communities of color, low wealth and traditionally excluded workforces. The goal is to create a sustainable system that will combat poverty, empower workers and increase equity in order to strengthen Madison’s long-term economic health.


There are many ways you or your organization can be a part of this groundbreaking Initiative! Whether you are a person who wants to start a worker-owned cooperative business, or with a community-based organization that wants to develop and support cooperative businesses with the people you serve, MCDC can be a tremendous resource.


We offer technical assistance to co-op start-ups, education and mentoring for organizations, and a pathway to start-up capital with funders, who are part of the City of Madison Initiative. Mini-grants are available to support education and technical assistance for community based organizations and for groups forming cooperatives. We can also connect you to a specialized loan program through on of our partners, Madison Development Corporation.


Please take a look at these resources. If you have questions, or are returning any forms listed below, or want to meet with MCDC partners, email charity.schmidt@wisc.edu or call 608-262-5905.


For people who want to start cooperatives or convert existing businesses to cooperatives:

Fill out this intake form if you want support and technical assistance from MCDC.

This document describes some of the ways that MCDC can support pathways to cooperative development.

An informational booklet describing the co-op model and the process of starting co-ops from UW Center for Cooperatives: Cooperatives in Wisconsin: The Power of Cooperative Action


For organizations or people who want to support developing cooperatives:

If you are interested in becoming an MCDC organizational partner, please fill out this Partner Profile.

In order to be an MCDC partner, and be eligible for funding, please also sign this Partnership Agreement.

We are currently accepting Mini-grant proposals up to $10,000. The deadline for this round is December 4th, 2017, with the next round deadline being May 7th, 2018. Read the application and guidelines here.


To learn more about the City of Madison Initiative and the story of MCDC’s formation:

Press release: Madison Coalition Begins Cooperative Enterprise for Job Creation and Business Development Program

MCDC Milestone Reflections: City of Madison Grant Writing Process by Laura Hanson Schlachter, MCDC Documentarian and UW-Madison Sociology PhD candidate

City of Madison Cooperative Development Information Sheet

Local Government Support for Cooperatives - brief report highlighting US cities that are supporting cooperative development that includes information on the City of Madison initiative.