About Cooperatives Build a Better Maine
We are at a unique moment in Maine. People here and across the US are expressing deep disillusionment in their economic, political and social institutions. People rightly believe that our economy is broken and incapable of helping them fulfill their needs and aspirations, and are looking for alternatives that can offer hope and a sense of control over their future.
Cooperatives Build a Better Maine, a project of the Cooperative Development Institute, offers that alternative.
Maine is becoming a national model for developing a cooperative economy, thanks to on-the-ground work of many cooperative members, advocates, developers and financiers. This network has created a whole new generation of innovative cooperative- and employee-owned enterprises that are addressing the need for good jobs, affordable housing and a healthy and dynamic local food system. However, to fully realize the potential of a cooperative economy and take it to scale, there is more we must do. Cooperatively owned businesses are a key to growing Maine's Future economy, reversing demographic decline, and promoting widely-shared prosperity in the state. They point the way to more stability – and with that, the dignity and freedom that come from greater economic security.
About Cooperative Development Institute
Since 1994, CDI has worked with people throughout New England and New York to create cooperative businesses and networks that grow a prosperous, equitable and inclusive economy. They are the USDA-designated Northeast Center for Cooperative Business Development.
CDI provides expert technical assistance for developing and mature cooperative businesses in areas such as cooperative design and education, financial analysis, and business and budget planning. Simultaneously, through community organizing, policy development and advocacy, and outreach and marketing, CDI raises public awareness of the benefits of a cooperative economy and builds the ecosystem that will bring it to scale. Cooperatives Build a Better Maine is one way that CDI is advancing our state's cooperative ecosystem.
About Cooperative Maine
Cooperative Maine is a statewide network that helps cooperatives connect to each other and to be larger movement. Started in 2007, they have created opportunities for cooperatives and the public to learn about and support a cooperative economy through conferences, workshops, advocacy and outreach.