Community wealth-building strategies. Meaningful jobs. Profit sharing.
Through community wealth-building strategies, Evergreen Cooperatives aims to create meaningful jobs, employee ownership, and profit-sharing opportunities.
Successful businesses. Vibrant neighborhoods. Global recognition.
Evergreen Cooperatives: An employee ownership initiative worthy of the international spotlight.
Economic development. Anchor-supported businesses. Equitable opportunities.
Launched by Cleveland-based institutions with a focus on economic inclusion to foster long-term community development.
Evergreen’s network of cooperatives. Preserving legacies. Keeping businesses local.
The Fund for Employee Ownership preserves legacies by investing in local businesses and expanding our network of employee-owned cooperatives.
A GLOBAL innovation
Transform Lives. Transform the Future.
Thriving businesses. Quality jobs. Dynamic communities.
Evergreen Cooperatives has become a global innovation model for creating more sustainable regional economies. Through our cooperative companies, local residents earn an ownership stake as they create flourishing businesses, while playing a transformational role in building vibrant neighborhoods.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Evergreen Cooperative Corporation (ECC) is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is creating and sustaining living-wage jobs and uplifting disinvested communities through the development of employee-owned businesses. Evergreen remains committed to at least 80% majority employee ownership.
Successful Employee-Owned Businesses
Evergreen’s involvement goes beyond acquiring and converting existing businesses into employee-owned operations. Our continued support of the employee owners drives success. Converted businesses join a network of connected employee-owned cooperatives with access to practical shared resources.
Employee-owned businesses anchor prosperity in the community by saving jobs and allowing employees to build individual wealth while revitalizing neighborhoods.
Evergreen’s sustainable companies offer high-quality jobs to their employee owners – creating opportunities for personal, financial and career success.
Evergreen's Fund for Employee Ownership
The Fund for Employee Ownership (TFEO) is a groundbreaking approach to use mission-driven capital to acquire small and medium-sized businesses, convert them to employee ownership and provide long-term support. The approach may seem simple, but the Evergreen Model is now proven to be powerful and effective.
The Fund provides solutions for retiring or exiting business owners. With employee ownership, you can exit your business knowing it’s in great hands – the hands of your employees.
We acquire great small-to-medium-sized businesses from exiting owners, preserving their legacy while sustaining jobs in the local communities.
We convert businesses we acquire to employee owned, providing existing employees an ownership stake in the company and profit-sharing opportunities.
We support our converted businesses in the Evergreen network with access to future capital, employee ownership training and cooperative governance.
The History of Evergreen Cooperatives
Launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions, Evergreen Cooperatives pioneered a unique approach to revitalize struggling neighborhoods through employee ownership.
This bold initiative keeps local small and mid-sized businesses in the community, offers living-wage jobs to the employee-owners, and helps transform disinvested neighborhoods into vibrant communities.
LEFCO Worthington, one of the region’s largest wood crating companies, is now in great hands – our employees. Evergreen Cooperatives will turn LEFCO Worthington into an employee-owned business which will continue to provide attractive wage jobs and provide true wealth creation opportunities that can be life changing for its new employee owners. Not only does this acquisition feel good, it is good, both for the business and the community. I’m thrilled to partner with such a fund whose strategic mission supports my beliefs of ethical business, doing good business and being a good business citizen.
We think it’s a way to attract better employees and retain the folks that we have and whatever success we had in our business over the years, a lot of it was due to the folks we had on our team.
The major thing is that you’re able to contribute to the growth and success of the company. The gift at the end is that you get some of the profits, too. When you own part of the business, it feels different. We’re all working together for a common goal.
Evergreen is a model for how we can create green jobs in communities all across Ohio and the country. These for-profit, environmentally responsible businesses are helping revive historic but often neglected neighborhoods in downtown Cleveland. Most importantly, the Evergreen Cooperatives are putting Ohioans back to work in good-paying jobs—and over time, those employees even have a stake in the company. It’s a truly revolutionary way of doing business that promotes local economic development.
Investments from employee-owned companies like Evergreen Cooperative Laundry help create more wealth for people in our neighborhoods while making our city an even more desirable place to live, work, play and do business.
In the News
See more news and blog articles on Evergreen Cooperative and its network of employee-owned cooperatives.
Evergreen Cooperatives’ Fund for Employee Ownership Acquires Manufacturer of Custom Wood Crates, LEFCO Worthington LLC
Evergreen Cooperatives, a nonprofit focused on revitalizing urban neighborhoods by preserving jobs that build middle-class wealth, has added to its growing portfolio of employee-owned businesses with the asset purchase of LEFCO Worthington LLC, an industry-leading manufacturer of engineered custom wood crates and heavy-duty skids for international shipping.Read Article
Green City Growers acquired by Local Roots Cleveland
The Evergreen Cooperative Corporation (ECC) and Green City Growers (GCG) boards recently sold GCG to Local Roots Cleveland, a company headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind. The GCG board, comprised of employee-owners and independent board consultants, voted to approve this transaction, and Local Roots Cleveland assumed ownership on May 19, 2022. Local Roots has offered jobs to all 12 GCG employees and expects to at least double the workforce by year-end.Read Article