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National Cooperative Bank Announces 2021 Co-op Innovation Award Winners

Custom Collaborative 2Arlington, VA (September 29, 2021) At National Cooperative Bank, our cooperative and community development mission has guided us for over 40 years and is a critical component of what defines our institution. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and increased visibility of racial violence, cooperatives have demonstrated their innate ability to promote resilience and growth toward shared prosperity for communities.

This year’s Co-op Innovation Award centered on utilizing the co-op model to develop new programs or strategies to address the impact of the economic crisis. Of the applications submitted, many focused on expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in their offerings, providing culturally appropriate cooperative opportunities for communities of color, women-owned businesses, Indigenous communities, those with criminal records, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

In partnership with Capital Impact Partners, National Cooperative Bank is pleased to announce the five organizations that were awarded the 2021 annual Capital Impact Partners Co-op Innovation Award: Cooperation Humboldt ($20,000), Custom Collaborative ($25,000), Collective Remake ($25,000), Co-op Dayton ($25,000), and Co-op Cincy ($35,000). The awardees received a total of $130,000.

“National Cooperative Bank is proud to once again work with Capital Impact Partners to award these deserving organizations with the Co-op Innovation Award,” stated Charles Snyder, CEO of NCB. “Each organization is deeply rooted in their community and will enhance the cooperative model to address income inequality and increase community ownership. We look forward to seeing the impact of their work in the years to come.”

“Our Co-op Innovation Award has been going strong for seven years, supporting emerging co-op developers to build community prosperity in underestimated communities across the country,” said Ellis Carr, president, and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance. “In the face of increasing pronounced inequity, co-ops provide a clear path to sovereignty and wealth-building that foster equity. Our partnership with The National Cooperative Bank and others continues to be a powerful tool to achieve this goal.”

In addition, this year, the award pool was expanded through the participation of additional sponsors, Cabot CreameryCUNA Mutual Group, and Local Government Federal Credit Union, helping augment the award opportunities by $30,000. Learn more about the award winners:

Co-op Cincy, $35,000

Co-op Cincy was selected to launch “Power In Numbers: Black Co-op U,” which will infuse their three-month co-op development course with racial justice education and co-op history.

Co-op Dayton, $25,000

Co-op Dayton was awarded to support Unified Power, a real estate investment cooperative that empowers West Dayton residents to own and oversee land management in their neighborhoods; create quality, affordable rental and homeownership opportunities; and revitalize disinvested commercial and residential streets.

Collective REMAKE, $25,000

Collective REMAKE was chosen to support the creation of worker-owned businesses and other kinds of cooperatives for people who were incarcerated or excluded from the mainstream economy.

Custom Collaborative, $25,000

Custom Collaborative was selected to empower Black and brown, low-income, and immigrant women who have been excluded from business and the sustainability movement with the tools and platform to lead in the creation of new solutions for the fashion industry and our planet.

Cooperation Humboldt, $20,000

Cooperation Humboldt was awarded to run a no-cost, six-week, bi-lingual, project-based educational program for aspiring entrepreneurs. It will train cooperative business advisors from rural, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities living with low incomes and provide additional supportive services to mitigate barriers to worker ownership.

NCB is proud to partner with Capital Impact Partners, and work with so many organizations that are moving the cooperative development model forward in such powerful and innovative ways as organizations and communities pivot to address the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic impacts on diverse communities.

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