Education & Training

ICA believes that training and education can make a significant difference to employee owned companies & social enterprises. Effective and meaningful programs can profoundly improve productivity, corporate performance, and employee satisfaction. Our staff of trained consultants design programs to meet your firm’s specific needs and to make the benefits of ownership & mission focus both tangible and enduring.


Services for Democratically Owned Companies: Getting worker owners to understand business strategy, their firms financial performance, effective democratic management practices and how to establish manageable  governance systems are instrumental for the success of an enterprise committed to the broad sharing of information and influence. In partnership with other sector-wide initiatives like the Democracy at Work Institute and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, our educational training programs work to address some of the most pressing impediments to better performance.

Services for Social Enterprises & Non Profits: Non Profits pursuing an enterprise strategy face a difficult balancing act, they must address the realities of a market that doesn’t put the interests of workers while running a successful, profitable business. We work with mission aligned groups to help their staff and leadership understand what it takes to make a firm succeed within a non-profit environment. Through broadly applied financial and strategy training and the development of sector specific tools, we help social enterprises reach their full potential.

  • Fundamentals for Democratic Firms

    What makes a firm democratic? Is it structure, culture, or corporate status? This interactive training session walks through the basics, history, and potential of worker cooperatives, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), and hybrid structures. This program is perfect for groups looking into conversions to employee ownership, groups looking to start a worker co-op, or community groups exploring an enterprise strategy.

  • Basic & Advanced Financial Accounting

    ICA’s curriculum, designed for Board members and employees who are not familiar with the basics of financial accounting, walks people through the fundamentals of corporate finance. For democratic firms to truly reach their potential, the Board of Directors must have a thorough understanding the firm’s financial performance, yet because too many people don’t know what the numbers mean, the ability to grow is limited. Topics including understanding the income statement to balance sheet, cash flow & ratio analysis, as well as budgeting are covered using an interactive, participatory approach rooted in concrete, relevant data.

  • Business Strategy: Essential Tools for Success

    A formal written business plan isn’t necessary for every firm, but to succeed, you do need a dynamic business strategy that key leadership and all members of the co-op own and can articulate. How is it your business is going to find customers, sell them products and services they want, and do this over the long run? This highly interactive training session that can be tailored to a specific firm or for a general audience, will help you work through a process that provides insight into what makes your business tick, how to understand your market, and how this analysis can help you succeed.

  • The Internal Capital Account System

    Internal Capital Accounts are the foundation of how a worker co-op is valued, but too many worker owners don’t understand this core concept. Our interactive in-person or online workshop, walks worker owners through this system, addressing issues such as the basics of accrual accounting, taxation of cooperatives, how to deal with losses and issues specific to start-ups.

  • Business Tools for Democratic Firms

    ICA’s has an extensive library of vital yet arcane worker cooperative tools such as democratic governance, internal capital accounts, and by-laws and incorporation (with sample by-laws, subscription agreements, incorporation documents, and other valuable and time tested resources.) While these are written specifically for worker co-ops, they are equally relevant to other types of democratic firms and social enterprise. For more information, visit our Resources section.