• Institute for Cooperative Economics & Economic Innovation

  • About

    Institute for Cooperative Economics and Economic Innovation (ICE) is a social lab and convening entity whose primary purpose is to educate, assist, and advocate for the expansion of cooperative economic models and other innovative economic development concepts that diversify and expand the economic eco-system. These models include: worker-owned cooperatives, housing cooperatives, community land trusts, sharing economy platforms, and financial institutions and products that support funding cooperative enterprises.

  • Interested in joining the Institute for Cooperative Economics

    Apply through the link below.

  • How It Works



    Educate the public about what cooperative economic models are, how they work, where they work, and why they are a viable method to diversify any economic ecosystem. This is done through seminars, webinars, and introductory workshops.


    Provide Technical Assistance

    Provide technical assistance by connecting individuals and groups looking to either start a new cooperative or convert an existing business into a cooperative, to technical assistance consultants that can help walk them through every step of the process.


    Policy Advocacy

    Work with policymakers and legislators to develop ordinances (at the municipal level) and legislation at the state level that will create a welcoming environment for the proliferation of cooperative economic models. The Institute also will work with policymakers to develop policies that allow for these models to gain a foothold in our mainstream economic planning and development.


  • Founder

    Dr. Amara Enyia

    Founder, Institute for Cooperative Economics

    Dr. Amara Enyia is a Public Policy expert on city and state policy as well as international affairs/foreign policy with expertise in Central Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. She writes extensively on issues of public finance and fiscal policy, education, economic development, equity in policy, and systems thinking. Dr. Enyia holds an Masters degree in Education., a law degree, and a PhD in Education Policy. In addition to her public policy consulting work, Dr. Enyia is a political consultant and strategist.


    She is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Cooperative Economics and Economic Innovation (ICE), an institute partnering with Blue 1647, an entrepreneurship and technology innovation center. She serves as the Executive Director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce as well as Policy Director for the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. Dr. Enyia serves on the boards of the Chicago Community Loan Fund, the Communities First Association, and Life Development Center. She is a Global Leadership Fellow with the Global Strategists Association and serves as a regular commentator and contributor on policy and politics for various media outlets.