Since 1995, when Prospera was founded (as WAGES - Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security), we have incubated a number of worker cooperatives throughout the Bay Area of California. We are proud of all of these businesses, five of which completed our program and trainings, became mature co-ops, and continue to operate independently today.
The first two co-ops ever incubated by Prospera were formed in the South Bay in the mid 1990s. Fantastic Fiesta was a party supply store and Non-Toxic Professional Housecleaning was an eco-friendly cleaning co-op. Although neither of these businesses is still in operation today, this was an incredibly important learning experience for our organization, and informed the growth and success that followed. After seeing the great potential at the cleaning co-op, Prospera began replicating this model.
The next two co-ops that Prospera developed are the longest lasting of our five operating co-ops. Emma’s Eco-Clean, which operates throughout the Peninsula, has generated over $9 million in sales since its launch in 1999. Emma’s provides its 27 worker-owners with benefits including health and dental insurance and flexible vacation time. The second, Eco-Care, has produced almost $4 million in sales since 2001 and continues to be a successful and growing establishment in Morgan Hill.
The next three co-ops that Prospera incubated were Natural Home Cleaning Professionals (NHCP), Home Green Home, and Green & Clean Professional Housecleaning. NHCP launched in Oakland in 2003. Its members receive an hourly wage of $14, twice the average starting wage for commercial cleaners in Alameda County. This is the largest co-op among those who have graduated from Prospera’s incubation program, with over 30 women co-owners. Next, Home Green Home opened its doors in San Francisco in 2009. Home Green Home launched with a partnership with Seventh Generation and has experienced steadily increased sales every year. In 2011, Prospera started incubating Green & Clean, the youngest of these five co-ops. They brought the eco-friendly cleaning co-op model to Central Contra Costa County for the first time.