Supporting Community Ownership
Community-, employee- and member-ownership models are essential to Self-Help. Beginning with our founding in 1980, much of our early work was based on supporting employee-owned enterprises in North Carolina to help workers faced with a declining economy take more control over their futures.
In 1984, Self-Help expanded its member-ownership model and created a credit union as a way to support small businesses that had few financial resources. As a credit union, Self-Help has gone on to lend to many cooperatively owned businesses, including a major ecotourism business, a bakery and multiple food co-ops.
In 2015, we developed a facility for the Durham (NC) Co-op Market and we helped the Hendersonville (NC) Community Cooperative expand in 2016 (see story below). Self-Help's lending to food co-ops alone has totaled more than $8 million.