This entry explores the benefits of cooperatives to members and their communities and the ways that these benefits contribute to more equitable social and economic development. It provides a short history of African American cooperative economic thought and practice as an example of the ways that social and solidarity economy (SSE) addresses racial economic discrimination and marginality. The entry finds that African Americans established social and solidarity economy organizations and enterprises (SSEOEs) such as cooperatives often in response to market failure and exclusion, and created alternative economic solutions that not only enabled survival, but also provided non-exploitative, democratic collective economic ownership and production, which led to meaningful profit sharing, and some level of individual and community self-determination.
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Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2008. 'Asset Building Through Cooperative Business Ownership: Defining and Measuring Cooperative Economic Wealth.' University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. 1 December. http://reic.uwcc.wisc.edu/discussion/papers/nembhard.pdf.
Gordon Nembhard, Jessica. 2014. Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
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