Cleveland Owns

Power through collective ownership

Join Co-op U! image
We’re now accepting applications for Co-op U, which starts March 21! Apply by March 1 at this link 

What is Co-op U?
  • A training and support program that helps teams develop a worker-owned business. It's a virtual program in partnership with Co-op Cincy and Co-op Dayton.

Participants in Co-op U:
  • Adapt a proven, replicable business model and develop a successful business plan of their own
  • Benefit from weekly virtual trainings, 1-on-1 mentorship, and technical assistance, as well as hands-on training by professionals
  • Receive assistance incorporating and structuring your business
  • Have an opportunity to access financing

How long is the program?
  • Our Co-op U lasts 14 weeks, with participants meeting virtually from 6-8 PM EST on Tuesdays
  • In addition to weekly evening sessions, participants are expected to dedicate additional time (2-5 hours a week) to conducting research, interviewing potential customers and partners, and testing their product or service

Who is the program designed for?
  • Teams of at least 2 Ohio residents with a business idea

  • $500 - $2,500 per team, with a sliding scale based on ability to pay

  • By March 1, complete the application at this link
  • Email questions to
About Us  image
Cleveland Owns is a economic democracy incubator that builds cooperative businesses and leads campaigns for community control of resources.

We know that in racial capitalism, ownership matters, so we're organizing multiracial, grassroots cooperatives that enable member owners to build wealth and power. We're working towards a Cleveland owned by its residents.
What we do image
We support groups of workers and neighbors as they seeks to turn what they have into what they need to demand their share of the region’s prosperity.

Today we support five cornerstone cooperatives working in clean energy, food access, and digital access, and collective purchasing. We also work for deeper democracy in the public sector, where we co-lead PB CLE, a coalition of 50+ organizations calling on Cleveland City Council to enable residents to allocate $30 million in ARPA funds using participatory budgeting.

The common thread for all our work is deep democracy through collective ownership and, in the case of the PB CLE, collective stewardship of public money -- economic democracy.

Today we're releasing a new case study about our work building community owned solar with Cleveland Solar Cooperative.  In the case study, authored by our friend and ally Will Cuneo, we describe our early days in library basements hammering out the who, how, and what about our vision for community solar in Cleveland.

  •  1/12/2023 11:26 AM

Happy New Year! Our staff, board, and volunteers at Cleveland Owns have a lot to be thankful for in 2022, and even more to look forward to in 2023. Here’s a preview of how we’re building economic democracy in the new year.

  •  1/5/2023 02:10 PM

Cleveland Owns is hiring a full-time Energy Democracy Organizer to lead our Energy Democracy Initiative, a portfolio of projects that promote community control over our energy system. The Energy Democracy Organizer will organize with residents impacted by energy injustice and the climate crisis, and develop community-owned solar projects.

  •  11/27/2022 08:19 PM

Today Cleveland Owns joined our partner ConnectedNEO in submitting an RFP to build a community-owned broadband mesh network across Cleveland.

  •  8/26/2022 04:27 PM

We are happy to share Cleveland Owns’ summary of a worker ownership organization in Massachusetts called Coalition for Worker Ownership and Power (COWOP). Their effort and experience can point us out a way for future policy campaigns and inter-organizational conversations.

  •  8/17/2022 11:40 AM

Participatory Budgeting (PB CLE) is hiring! This organizer will lead our campaign to win our ask of bringing participatory budgeting to Cleveland through community engagement, PB education, and campaign advocacy efforts starting in late-August/September. Please share!

  •  7/5/2022 05:41 PM

Originally posted on, this article describes the origin story of Cleveland Solar Cooperative, a project Cleveland Owns has incubated since 2020

  •  6/10/2022 03:40 PM
We're able to do this work because of people like you who believe in economic democracy. Thank you for being a supporter of Cleveland Owns!

Click here to make a donation.

To make a one-time donation via PayPal, click here (we pay no fees!)
Support image
  • Cleveland, Ohio