Community Economic Development
We believe a just and inclusive economy is shaped by the power of people and community.
An equitable society requires economic and democratic inclusion at all levels. It takes power building to achieve transformative outcomes and an economy where everyone can thrive. At Catalyst Miami, we help put power back in the hands of communities by providing wealth-building opportunities that are controlled by people themselves.
We create programs and solutions that promote economic inclusivity, offering initiatives such as shared ownership of real estate and a worker cooperative academy. We believe community-owned and -governed institutions are the key to fostering more equitable economic systems that benefit everyone.
Scroll down for a list of our programs.
Our community-centered programs and initiatives are creating more shared prosperity.
Expanding wealth-building opportunities for individuals, families, and whole communities
Increasing community control and ownership over businesses and real estate
Launching projects that allow residents to “buy back the block” — or buy and manage real estate in their neighborhood
Supporting the launch and prolonged success of worker cooperatives and cooperatively governed nonprofits
Demonstrating what a more democratic economy rooted in equity and cooperation could look like in Miami
North Miami Community Investment Cooperative
The North Miami Community Investment Cooperative (NM-CIC) is an opportunity for local residents to “buy back the block” — or take ownership and control of real estate in their community. This cooperative model means that residents will own and manage commercial property together, while the tenants will be local small businesses.
In the first phase of each property, Catalyst Miami will oversee the purchase and initial management of the real estate. This includes making any needed repairs to the property and handling commercial tenant matters. Then, Catalyst Miami will oversee the process of selling the properties back to individual members of the community.
The NM-CIC project is an innovative way for residents to become property owners and have a say in the development of their neighborhood.
Worker-Owned Business Program
Catalyst Miami is committed to building a more democratic economy in Miami. The Worker-Owned Business Program helps residents learn about and establish worker cooperatives and worker-governed nonprofits. These are enterprises where employees collectively own and manage the business and share in the profits.
This cooperative business model places employees and community benefits at the forefront, giving workers greater control over their work and economic well-being. In addition, worker-owned businesses contribute to a more equitable economy by promoting community economic development and jobs that build wealth for all employees.
Florida Thrives: Community of Practice is a capacity-building program that coaches local community-based organizations in performance over planning. It brings these organizations' leaders together to identify and solve critical challenges, particularly related to economic development. In collaboration with local partners and national experts, Florida Thrives has helped participating organizations improve program quality and increase their revenue, program participation, and operational efficiency.
Economic development, through the lens of economic justice, is integral for any community’s ability to survive and thrive. When the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a volatile economic environment, which most acutely impacted frontline communities, nonprofits that are committed to community economic development stepped up across Miami-Dade County to help small businesses. Now, as we build a post-pandemic world, we must expand the definition of economic development to make it more inclusive. This requires supporting organizations focused on economic development and economic justice whose constituencies are adversely impacted by outdated policies, strategies and tactics furthered by both the public and private sectors.
To that end, Catalyst Miami collaborated with South Florida Community Development Coalition (SFCDC) to develop Florida Thrives, whose purpose is to assist community-based organizations that want to intervene in economic development. Florida Thrives incorporates an inclusive array of voices and perspectives, and responds to the needs of working people excluded from traditional economic opportunities. The goal is twofold:
- Map South Florida’s inclusive economic development ecosystem with a wide array of partners, in order to forge meaningful partnerships, enhance the continuum of service, and tackle policy and infrastructural barriers;
- Introduce emerging economic development trends from across the country to South Florida that are relevant to the work of participating organizations.