The six member-owners of Radiate Consulting™ North Carolina decided that their tech expertise combined with a collective-ownership model was their best route to business ownership and a rewarding career trajectory. After working for months, supported by Code the Dream and the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), they launched the new business at an event on September 2.
“Radiate Consulting North Carolina aims to bring affordable tech-based solutions to a variety of organizations such as non-profits, government and educational agencies, small to medium businesses to name a few, as a means to help them succeed, and grow with the current age of modern technology,” said member-owner Rod Chavez at the launch event. “Radiate aims to help [customers] fill any technological gaps & needs, while empowering our diverse team of member-owners.”
Chavez and Brian Espinosa, both graduates of Code the Dream’s educational programs who went on to be apprentices at CTD Labs, decided to pursue a cooperative business model in 2020 and started recruiting members in early 2021. They were joined by CTD grads Kevin Arevalo and Sinan Cengiz, as well as Ian Peoples and Guillermo Hernandez Flores to round out a team with a diverse set of complementary skills. All of the founding member-owners are web/mobile application developers and administrators.
Radiate Consulting™ North Carolina is the fourth Radiate worker cooperative, and the first to focus on providing tech solutions. As a worker cooperative, the business is both owned and managed by its workers. Together, they ensure fair wages are provided, a healthy work environment is maintained, and—most notably— all Radiate professionals share the profits the business generates.
“There’s a lot of opportunity in the cooperative way that we’re approaching things,” said Espinosa. “Currently we have two major contracts and we’re looking to grow quickly, and to grow together. We have so many strengths among the six of us, and I’m excited about harnessing those to grow this business.”
Radiate Consulting™ North Carolina launched with support from Code the Dream, a North Carolina-based nonprofit providing high-level software development education to people from diverse low-income backgrounds, and the Democracy at Work Institute, an organization working to expand worker ownership to reach communities locked out of business ownership opportunities, especially BIPOC, immigrant, and low-wage workers.
“Each year, tens of thousands of university, community college, and advanced degree program students are blocked from working in their chosen fields or obtaining the jobs their skills demand,” said Vanessa Bransburg, managing director at DAWI. “Radiate creates business ownership opportunities for skilled professionals who are facing obstacles like inconsistent contingent work, hiring and workplace discrimination, wage theft, and more.”
In addition to supporting their launch, Code the Dream is Radiate Consulting™ North Carolina’s first client.
“We are happy to see some of our grads go on to such a promising endeavor,” said Code the Dream co-founder Daisy Magnus-Aryitey. “We already have a contract with Radiate Consulting™ North Carolina, and we are thrilled to have a chance to continue to work with these motivated, skilled individuals.”