Workshop co-ops: Making workshops affordable and profitable.

How do you get people to go to your workshops? And whats a more affordable way to go to all the workshops you want?

The idea: Workshop co-ops. A cooperative owned by participants and workshop facilitators that organizes collective investments of time, space, marketing, money, and education. These co-ops would be self-replicating and mutually supportive.

Say 50 people get together, some of who are workshop facilitators. Everyone puts up a certain amount of money like $10 a month, and agrees to market workshops for x hours a month. People can then go to each workshop for a discounted (or free) price, and can trade marketing, admin, or space setup or workshop help for discounts on workshops. Workshops can have a set price which you can get discounts on ( they could also work if they prefer on gift economy, meaning people give what they would like.)

When there is a base of people to draw from and large marketing outreach from that base, workshops find it much easier to fill up.
As new workshop co-ops form, they can also cross promote for each other, furthering increasing marketing outreach. The workshop co-ops thus forms a larger network where people can also get discounts across the whole network.

The vision is that people can take a lot more workshops, and that workshop facilitators who want to concentrate on doing that more full time, can make a living income from it. Other members may also make money from their help. Surplus money can also be funneled into social movements, and to workshop co-ops that may be servicing the less privileged populations.

This workshop coop model can also have a variation where the workshops, and memberships are done on gift economic, donation based style. In this case a kind of workshop commons is created which is co-governed, creating a people centered business network ecosystem. For the donation style approach to work best, requires also inner transformation, where workshop facilitators are non-attached to outcome, and participants also let go of belief systems and attachments around money, and it requires growing a culture of generosity and mutual help.

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Addendum: After writing this article I heard from someone who is starting something that has parts of this model. People contribute membership fees each month (which is up to you how much). Then people submit proposals for workshops, which get selected. Workshop facilitators get paid from membership fees and have a base workshop income per hour. Members can can help get the word out about workshops. The more people contribute in membership fees, and the more the word gets out, then the more workshops they can put on. http://www.evoleadinstitute.com/#!connect/c1g0

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