Hilary Abell

Co-Founder , Project Equity
Oakland, CA

  • Cooperative Development

About Hilary

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. Hilary co-founded Project Equity while writing Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale and consulting for coop development initiatives and nonprofits. For her work with Project Equity, Hilary was awarded Presidio Graduate School’s Big Idea Prize in 2013, an Echoing Green Fellowship in 2014, and a 2016 Common Future Fellowship. 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.