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Sustainable Society Cooperatives

The Zebra Collective is a Social Enterprise Supporting Workers

— December 6, 2011 — Social Good
A member of 'rise for social enterprise,' the Plymouth-based Zebra Collective is a worker cooperative that revolves around equality, positive communication and participation.

As outlined on Zebra Collective's newly designed website, their goal is "to influence change in public life and personal lives towards our vision of a just and sustainable society, through our work in training, development, support, action research and consultancy." Furthermore, Zebra works with organizations and community groups through policy writing, project evaluation, training and team planning.

Like many social enterprises, measuring impact is an important part of the organization -- not simply intentions and messaging. Here's how the Zebra Collective goes about this important aspect of ensuring that short- and long-term goals are constantly not only being met but also re-evaluated according to outcomes:

"To this end, we are rigorous in reflecting on and evaluating our work, seeking meaningful feedback from clients in addition to our self-assessments. And from 2010-11 we run a process of social accounting –- an intensive, detailed process for measuring our social impact against our social aims. In our first year we recorded some good evidence of the impact of our work, and identified plenty of scope for improvement and development. In 2011-12, during which the particular focus of our social accounting is our commitment to equality, we are actively working to further improve the impact of our work."

Some of the Zebra Collective's innovative social justice projects -- in which their focus is on development -- include Global Xchange, a global volunteer program for youth; Time Banking, a system which rewards community work through a credit method; and healthy eating through workshops and awareness.

In a time when many workers are losing rights (and simultaneously, jobs), worker cooperatives like Zebra Collective create an important mechanism in which workers can gain, maintain and increase control over their working lives.

Contact Information:
The Zebra Collective Website
The Zebra Collective on Twitter