The Overlooked Value of the Social Economy
Pursuing a Ph.D. to address capitalism’s injustices, Adriane Clomax delved into employee-owned businesses, finding them more stable and empowering for marginalized groups, such as the formerly incarcerated, women, and people of color. Worker cooperatives, historically pivotal for disadvantaged communities, offer democratic ownership and decent wages. Recently, platform cooperatives have emerged, integrating cooperative principles into the digital gig economy. Examples include Up & Go, aiding immigrant women in starting cleaning businesses. However, scaling these platform cooperatives presents challenges, lacking standardized practices. To evaluate the impact of these business models, Mor Barak’s social good domains—Diversity and Inclusion, Environmental Justice and Sustainability, and Peace and Collaboration—offer a framework. While platform cooperatives promise economic equality and voice, issues like data protection and digital work entry barriers persist. Strengthened academia-business ties, prioritizing sustainability over profit, and supportive policies can enhance these businesses, offering dignified work opportunities for low-wage earners.