Collective Support for the Self-Employed

Collective Action for Distributing Surplus: Making self-employment viable

Worldwide tens of millions of people work for themselves in occupations ranging from trades to creative consultancies and from farming to software design. There are collective actions that allow the self-employed to collectivize some of the expenses businesses find difficult to shoulder alone while retaining their autonomy.

Examples of support for self-employed include:

Artisan’s Asylum is a non-profit organization providing education, tools, workspaces and connection for hobbyists, artists and early stage entrepreneurs.

Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC), started in the US in 1979, helps small businesses build capacity through business advice, training, loans and commercial properties. The Real Pickles company is a successful business initially supported by the FCCDC.

Mercado Central in Minneopolis is a space where Latino immigrants are able to establish their own small businesses while sharing services such as accountancy and marketing.

The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India was founded in 1972 and has worked with over 1.7 million women, particularly the most unprotected and vulnerable, supporting them to become fully employed (either individually or working collectively with other women).