CERO Starts Operations, Raises DPO Funds

CERO Co-founders and worker-owners Timothy Hall and Josefina Luna

CERO Co-founders and worker-owners Timothy Hall and Josefina Luna

The Boston Impact Initiative is a proud early investor in CERO, a nationally recognized worker-owned recycling and hauling company based in Dorchester. A recipient of Boston’s Greenovate Award and one of Sharable.com‘s 16 “Most Exciting Co-ops,” CERO is a green, multi-racial, democratically managed social enterprise that embodies localist values.

After crowd-sourcing $17,000, CERO officially launched its Direct Public Offering (DPO) this fall. DPO’s are an increasingly popular tool for raising community capital by allowing non-accredited investors to purchase stock in small businesses. CERO’s use of a DPO reflects its vision to build a company that is supported by and accountable to the broader community. The Boston Impact Initiative is pleased to be one of CERO’s first DPO shareholders.

Starting in October, CERO officially launched operations, renting a truck and providing waste and composting services for five America’s Food Basket grocery stores. We invite you to learn more about CERO’s business model and inspiring story.

Financing the New Economy

Self Help Credit Union, used as a case study

Self Help Credit Union, used as a case study

This summer, the Boston Impact Initiative was proud to convene the Boston Community Finance Study Group in partnership with the Center for Economic Democracy and City Life Vida Urbana. The study group brought together some of Boston’s most dynamic organizers, co-op developers and alternative finance practitioners for eight sessions to explore community controlled financial institutions that could help meet the economic development needs of Boston’s low income communities of color. We studied a range of models, including community loan funds, community development credit unions and community equity funds that are well-suited to finance such non-traditional enterprises as worker-owned cooperatives and community-owned land trusts.