Hilary Abell

Co-Founder, Project Equity

Oakland, CA

Prioritize Equity, Share Ownership  |  Community Economic Development, Incubator / Accelerator, Worker Ownership

Hilary builds economic resilience in low-income communities by incubating and growing scale-able cooperative businesses and fostering local ecosystems that increase worker ownership.

Hilary is one of our nation’s experts on cooperative development in low-income communities. She has focused her career on cooperatives, fair trade, and community empowerment. As Executive Director of Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES, recently rebranded to Prospera) from 2003 to 2011, she led the organization through a period of major growth, resulting in a network of five worker-owned green cleaning businesses that sustain 100 high quality jobs in Bay Area communities. Participants’ family incomes rose by 80%, assets increased through robust profit sharing, and women gained skills and social capital through participation in their businesses and communities. Hilary was a worker-owner at Equal Exchange in the 1990s. Her white paper, Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale, was published by The Democracy Collaborative in June 2014. Hilary has her B.A. from Princeton University and is pursuing her MBA at Presidio Graduate School.