The New York Women’s Foundation is committed to supporting innovative solutions to achieve economic justice and security. One of those ways is supporting the growth and expansion of innovative business models such as worker-owned cooperatives by supporting Center for Family Life’s Cooperative Business Development Program which mobilizes community members and organizations to develop and launch cooperative businesses. They partner with immigrant and low-income workers to create new pathways to economic stability and opportunities for leadership.
Up & Go is an app that allows you to order house-cleaning services in New York City. The cleaners, many of them Latin American immigrants, formed worker-run cooperatives long before they ever started thinking about an app. Up & Go was able to create their own digital interface to book clients and also own their own code therefore removing Silicon Valley “distruptors” from skimming profits off the top. Center for Family Life had helped organize the workers and establish their own co-op since the mid-2000s.
Here are a few highlights:
“The cleaners are trained professionals—many of them Latin American immigrants, who formed worker-run cooperatives long before they ever started thinking about an app. That was a crucial part of what made Up & Go possible: The workers were already organized.”
“More money goes to the people who actually put in the elbow grease. When customers use Up & Go to hire a house cleaner, only 5 percent goes to the app…There’s no venture capitalist demanding hockey-stick growth or profits.”
“The house cleaners make an average $22.25 per hour, about $5 more than the area average.”