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Kent State University Partners with Mid American Cooperative Council and Braintree Business Development Center to Present Cooperative Start-Up Forum on March 18

Posted Mar, 11, 2010

The Northern Ohio Center for Cooperative Ownership at Kent State University, Mid American Cooperative Council, and Braintree Business Development Center are conducting a Cooperative Start-Up Forum on Thursday, March 18, in Medina. This session will help small business owners determine if a cooperative is the best business structure for existing or potential small business owners.

“We examine what is the best way to organize a new business,” said Roy Messing of the Northern Ohio Center for Cooperative Ownership at Kent State. “Recent changes in the Ohio Revised Code not only make it possible to organize as a cooperative, but also provide advantages to those who do so.”

The Cooperative Start-Up Forum will provide attendees with the necessary tools to determine if a cooperative is right for their business. It also will identify the next functional steps for cooperative business development. The program will compare and contrast cooperatives with other business models.  Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with people who have actually started a successful co-op.

The workshop will address:
• What are cooperatives?
• Who owns them?
• How do they function?
• How to establish your business as a cooperative
• Strengths and weaknesses of co-ops versus other business structures
• Common pitfalls to establishing a new cooperative business
• Raising equity: How much and when it is needed?

The workshop is on Thursday, March 18, from 8:45 a.m. to noon and will be held at Dairy Farmers of America, 1035 Medina Rd., Suite 300, Medina, Ohio. This is east of Medina on state Route 18, east of Interstate 71 and west of Interstate 77.

Workshop facilitators are Bob Cohen of the Braintree Business Development Center, Roy Messing of the Northern Ohio Center for Cooperative Ownership at Kent State, and Rod Kelsay of Mid American Cooperative Council.

The cost for the program is $35.  Refreshments will be provided.  Pre-registration is preferred.  To register or to obtain additional information, contact Roy Messing at or at 330-672-3028.

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Media Contacts:
Roy Messing,, 330-672-3028
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595