Total loan: $5,000


Springfield, MA, United States / Construction

Emily's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped purchase workshop tools for our two new apprentices.

Emily's story

I grew up with a strong awareness of social and environmental problems in the world and consequently was quite cynical and pessimistic from a young age. Despite this, when I was 18, I decided that the right thing to do was to be part of the struggle for a more just and sustainable world--from then on I’ve been involved in various activist fronts. I earned a doctorate in economics because it was clear to me that our economic system is at the heart of many of our problems and solutions. While in graduate school, I joined the Center for Popular Economics and have been engaged in popular economics education for 25 years. Throughout all of this my pessimism remained intact. I always operated out of a sense of what was right, not a sense that any of this would really make a long term difference. Around a dozen years ago, I started getting involved with the solidarity economy and for the first time, felt hopeful--hopeful because this framework goes beyond critique and a theoretical blueprint. It builds on a vast array of existing social-economic practices that are aligned with solidarity economy principles of solidarity, democracy, sustainability, and equity. The solidarity economy perspective motivated me to co-found Wellspring Cooperative, a non-profit working to develop a network of worker-owned businesses in Springfield, MA to create good jobs and community wealth in the city’s under-served communities. Our first business, the Wellspring Upholstery Cooperative, now approaching its second anniversary, is growing and making a profit! We also have a hydroponic greenhouse in the pipeline. Wellspring is really excited about bringing the Old Window Workshop into the Wellspring Cooperative network. This is a fantastic initiative to create jobs and ownership opportunities for women and Wellspring can help their transition into a worker owned co-op as well as to grow stronger and more successful. Pam Howland, the founder of the Old Window Workshop is also raising money for apprenticeships, so please support that Kiva appeal too! This business is a co-op and Pam and I are fundraising on Kiva Zip together.