Sources of Capital for a Start-Up Cooperative

Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Time: 01:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM CT / 11:00 AM MT / 10:00 AM PT [Prevailing Time]
Presenters: Sarah Kaplan, Partner, Cutting Edge Counsel, Christina Jennings, Executive Director, Shared Capital Cooperative
Moderator: Wayne Sine, CPA, MBA, Director of Education, National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives
Objective: 1. Understand at least 3 sources of capital for start-up cooperatives,
2. Understand how securities laws allow cooperatives to seek investment, and
3. Understand metrics used by lenders to assess loan readiness.
Field of Study: Finance
Program Level: Basic
CPE Credit: 1 Credit Hour
Delivery Method: Group Internet-based
Prerequisite(s): No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Course Description

This session will provide an overview of funding sources for cooperative start-up and development, focusing on worker cooperatives and consumer cooperatives. We will give examples of what the "capital stack" can look like. Sarah Kaplan will discuss how co-ops can accept equity investments from "investor members" (non-patron members in some cases and non-member investors in other cases), including what is permitted under securities laws. Christina Jennings will discuss how CDFI's assess cooperatives for loan readiness.

Presenter and Moderator Bios

Presenter: Sarah Kaplan, Partner, Cutting Edge Counsel

Sarah Kaplan is a partner of Cutting Edge Counsel, a law firm that serves mission-driven enterprises and helps them raise mission-aligned capital. Her experience includes structuring new legal entities, advising on private and public capital-raising campaigns, structuring community investment funds, and co-op conversion transactions. Her clients include worker co-ops, food co-ops, agricultural co-ops, platform co-ops, limited cooperative associations, and charitable organizations, as well as standard business entities. Ms. Kaplan graduated magna cum laude from Chicago Kent College of Law, and has an A.B. from Princeton University. She is licensed in California and Illinois.

Presenter: Christina Jennings, Executive Director, Shared Capital Cooperative

Christina Jennings is the Executive Director of Shared Capital Cooperative, where she provides strategic leadership, oversees lending programs, and leads capitalization and fundraising efforts. Ms. Jennings has worked for over twenty years in community development finance in the US and internationally. Prior to joining Shared Capital, Jennings ran a microfinance program; provided technical assistance and training to support the development and growth of immigrant-lead nonprofits; and managed two international funds that invested in local microfinance organizations in Latin America. She has also launched and managed several small businesses and social ventures. Throughout her career, the focus of her work has been on supporting capacity building, working for economic justice and creating equitable access to capital. Ms. Jennings holds a Masters in Public Affairs focused on Community Economic Development and Nonprofit Management from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota, and she received a BA in Gender and International Development from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She currently serves on the boards of directors and as Treasurer of these non-profit organizations: Cooperative Development Foundation, the City of Lakes Community Land Trust, and Latino Economic Development Center, a Minnesota CDFI.

Moderator: Wayne Sine, CPA, MBA, Director of Education, National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives

Wayne Sine is an experienced and highly knowledgeable professional in the field of Tax. Wayne recently retired as Tax Director from his company, Southern States Cooperative. He has extensive experience working with agricultural cooperatives and has been a long-time member of the NSAC. He is extremely active in the NSAC, serving as both past Chapter President of the Atlantic Chapter, and past Chair of the Tax Committee, and is currently serving as the NSAC Director of Education.. Wayne's career is marked by several accomplishments, and he has always been involved in many organizations, spreading his knowledge. Wayne is a member of the Legal, Tax, and Accounting (LTA) Committee for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He is also Past Chair of both the Tax Committee of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Manufacturers Association. Wayne also served on the Tax Policy Committee at the Virginia Society of CPAs and served as past Region Vice President for the Tax Executives Institute.

Free for NSAC Members / $56.00 for Non-Members

  Online Registration

Delivery System

  • All programs are delivered using the Zoom platform.
  • Confirmations will include log-in instructions.
  • Participants are able to participate using any device with an Internet connect (if the device does not have speakers, the participant can also dial-in) or they can participate with audio only by dialing in.
  • All registrants will receive a link to the CLN’s recording by email within 48 business hours of event’s conclusion.
  • There will be assistance available to help with technical and connectivity issues up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the presentation.


All registration is done on-line and each guest must provide their name and email address to participate. All NSAC members may register for free. Non-members may register for a nominal fee.

Refund Policy

NSAC will not issue refunds for CLNs. If a registrant is unable to participate in the CLN and provides notification to 48 hours prior to the session, a credit will be provided for a future CLN. Alert the NSAC staff member monitoring the CLN if technical difficulties are encountered and technical support will be provided to eliminate problems with future CLNs.

Additional Information

Live participation is required for CPE credit and polling questions must be answered to document your active participation. All registrants will receive an email following the session with links to the slides and/or handouts, and a link to the CLN recording (unless otherwise stated). If you are unable to participate in the live session, you can still watch the recorded session, but you will not be eligible for CPE credits. Those eligible for credits will receive their certificate by email with 7 business days.

For more information regarding NSAC CLNs or administrative policies such as complaint and refund, contact the NSAC Headquarters, 7946 Clyo Road, Suite A, Centerville, OH 45459, 937-222-6707, or