WES Mariam Assefa Fund Grantee Partners

Center for Family Life/SCO Family of Services

Category: Innovation & Experimentation; Immigrant Leadership

Amount: USD$200,000

Term: October 2020 – August 2022

Focus: Center for Family Life/SCO Family of Services is expanding Brightly, one of the first worker cooperative franchises in the United States, to provide a more sustainable path to scale financially successful worker cooperatives in low-income and immigrant communities.

About Center for Family Life/SCO Family of Services

The Center for Family Life (CFL) is a neighborhood-based family and social services organization with deep roots in Sunset Park, a community in Brooklyn, N.Y. CFL’s Cooperative Development Program has been incubating immigrant-led worker cooperatives since 2006. For the past four years, CFL has been developing Brightly®, a franchise of worker-owned, women-run, community-led cooperatives that offer eco-friendly residential and commercial cleaning services.

What type of work will the grant enable?

The Brightly cooperative franchise system plans to expand beyond New York and into new markets, starting with Philadelphia, and the grant will enable this expansion. One of the first worker cooperative franchises in the U.S., Brightly is providing a more sustainable path to scale financially successful worker cooperatives in low-income and immigrant communities.

Why is this work important?

Brightly is driven, informed, and managed by worker-owners. Since launching in 2006, CFL has helped create 22 businesses in home and office cleaning, childcare, elder care, and other service industries and supported more than 420 worker-owners. Worker-owners in cooperatives supported by CFL have been primarily first-generation immigrant, Spanish-speaking (76 percent) women (83 percent) with high school education or less (73 percent) who have children (72 percent). The Brightly cooperative model enables immigrant women to access safe, non-exploitative work; it improves their earnings and supports longer-term wealth building for worker-owners and their families. It goes beyond Brightly cooperatives in immigrant communities by developing worker-owners’ leadership and business management skills.