Assistance & cooperative education available

Florida Ceed, money, business

ST. PETERSBURG  –  Florida Cooperative Empowered Economic Development Corp. (Florida Ceed), a newly formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with the support of Workforce Innovation & Community Strategy and Local Food Park, Inc., has announced the launch of a cooperative development center located on the St. Pete campus of Pinellas Technical College (PTC).

“The engagement of these organizations with the development center creates a significant presence in our area for teaching and learning the skills needed to establish a larger, sustainable, cooperative economy,” said Florida Ceed’s Executive Director Judith Turner.

Florida Ceed operates as a Cooperative Business Development and Resource Center by providing education, training, and technical assistance to develop cooperative businesses through:

  • Community events that educate participants of all ages

  • Classroom and online technical and business education

  • One-on-one cooperative business technical assistance that allows access to specific resources available to cooperatives

To achieve these goals, Florida Ceed will closely collaborate with PTC and programs in the community, including:

  • Workforce Innovation & Community Strategy at PTC

  • Local Food Project

  • Urban Agriculture

  • Local Time Banks

Planned classes at PTC and he St. Pete Green House, which provides counseling for local businesses, for fall 2017 and spring 2018 include a two-hour Introduction to Cooperatives and a six-week micro-course to help participants decide whether the cooperative business model is right for them. Micro-course topics will cover what legally defines a business as a cooperative, the different types of cooperatives, State statutes, IRS and accounting rules, bylaws and governance.

Follow-up workshops will help teams develop their cooperative business model and connect them to the necessary resources for their specific type of co-op.

Upcoming events offered at the Saint Petersburg Greenhouse, and at PTC will begin in September 2017 and include a variety of formats ranging from co-op cafe with  discussions about co-op history, book club, readings about co-ops and how-to’s of creating a cooperative eco-system. For event information, dates and times, check our Facebook page, sign up for emails or visit our website.

For groups or individuals who wish to volunteer, assist, or intern for college credit, contact Judith Turner at floridaceed@gmail.com

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