Students are responsible for one 10-15 page paper on a topic related to community-owned enterprise and civic participation.
Students are also responsible for producing a 'deliverable,' such as a business plan or foundation proposal, for their client. Students may work with two community initiatives in Mattapan: one to establish a youth-run community enterprise and another to develop a locally-run (but regionally affiliated) credit union. Students may also work on a number of projects in conjunction with the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI):
- A bio-diesel production facility project that needs waste vegetable oil collection organized in Boston. For this project, students could potentially work with the City Council on a collection system or work with farmers to back-haul it;
- A Mass health care project that is just in inception. Students could organize a state-wide meeting to demonstrate the Ithaca model;
- A feasibility study for an herb processing facility in Western Massachusetts; and,
- An online community product development project to support consensus building among large groups of member-owners of non-profits and cooperatives (now in the software refinement, business planning, and pilot marketing and sales stage built on a volunteer effort).
Students should work in groups to select their preferred project, and work independently to contact the client, set a scope of work, time-frame, and final deliverable. Student work will be evaluated based on the process and the product.
An example of student work on Assignment 2 is included below. All work is courtesy of the students named and used with permission.
Youth Cooperative Toolkit (PDF) - Kiara Nagel, Khalil Shahyd, and Michael Weisner
A set of Appendix Materials included in this report are generously provided by the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI):
4.1 Legal Structures - "Legal Structures for Group-Based Businesses"
4.2 Clarifying Roles - "Clarifying Roles within Your Business"
4.3 Market Analysis Workbook - "Group-Based Business Planning Workbook"
4.4 Business Planning - "Starting a Group-Based Business: Development Plan"