What is a cooperative?
Cooperatives are people-centered enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
Cooperatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. Whether the members are the customers, employees, users or residents, cooperatives are democratically managed by the 'one member, one vote' rule.
The cooperative movement is far from being a marginal phenomenon. At least 12% of humanity is a cooperator of any of the 3 million cooperatives on earth.
What is the Zebras Unite Cooperative
Dazzle LCA (Limited Cooperative Association), d/b/a Zebras Unite Co-Op, is a cooperative owned by the community of founders and investors who are building the next economy. The Zebras Unite Co-Op is the operating entity through which we offer services, events and networking opportunities for the community; conduct programming related to our capital, culture, and community priorities; and provide the infrastructure for local chapters around the world.
The Zebras Unite Co-Op makes money from its membership, educational offerings and events, licensing agreements, and consulting and service delivery. Membership in the Dazzle CoOp will entitle shareholders to special offers, access to chapter and other events, and of course to the patronage dividends as and when our commercial activities start generating profits.
We chose a cooperative structure to share power and value with the diverse stakeholders that make up the Zebras Unite community.
Who are the Shareholders of the Zebras Unite Cooperative?
The Co-Op has four voting classes of shareholders, and one non-voting class. The voting shareholders are represented on the Co-Op board of directors with one or more seats. They are:
- The Zebras Unite nonprofit (501c3) organization. It holds the golden share that gives it veto powers over certain decisions, anchoring the social mission of the Co-Operative.
- The four “Dazzle Doulas”. These are the four women entrepreneurs (Jennifer Brandel, Astrid Scholz, Aniyia Williams, and Mara Zepeda) who first articulated the Zebras Unite vision and principles in 2017, and shepherded the emergence of the movement to date.
- General Members. These are individuals and corporations who identify with the Zebra ethos. We are pleased to welcome a small number of Founding Members to the co-op who have contributed startup sweat equity.
- Institutional Partners. These are highly aligned corporations, foundations, and other entities who are providing growth financing for the Co-Op and are playing an active role in the delivery of services and / or programming.
- In addition, there is one non-voting class of shareholders for potential investors who provide financing but do not want or expect a governance role in the Zebras Unite Cooperative. Investors participate in dividends and realize a financial return from their investment according to pre-agreed terms .
What does it mean to be a General Member of the Dazzle Co-Op?
Each General Member owns a share of the Co-Op, and each share has a vote. This is different from a “subscription” or a “club” membership in that members and shareholders in the Co-Op also participate in the governance and decision-making for the Co-Op by voting according to their share class. Rather than merely being customers or consumers who pay for products and services, Zebras Unite Co-Op members are thus empowered as owners, participants, and creators who receive an annual dividend in proportion to the Co-Op’s growth and in proportion to their patronage. Rather than the benefits going only to those “at the top” or outside investors, the cooperative structure ensures that all members can participate and benefit from the good that we create together. You have the chance to vote on the co-op's directors, policies, etc. For more, please read our by-laws.
What is patronage?
Patronage is the time, talent, and / or treasure that you put into the Zebras Unite Co-Op to create value for the community overall. Examples include contributing time by leading a chapter or organizing events; contributing your talent by providing assistance to founders and other members of the community; or contributing your treasure by paying for certain events and other services of the Co-Op. The more patronage you provide, the more value you create for the community, and the larger of a share of annual profits you are entitled to. The tentative title of our patronage system is called Stripes. We are excited to identify the activities and build the tracking system with our membership.
For more information, or to submit your claim, see
What are the benefits of membership?
Member benefits include:
Dazzle Co-Op share (one-time buy-in $100)
- A Vote and a Voice:
- Democractic governance of our community through election of and the opportunity to run for the board of directors.
- Participation in annual decisions about any profits that arise from operations, i.e.: reinvest them into the growth of the CoOp and / or distribute them to members.
- Patronage dividends as and when our commercial activities start generating profits. Dividends are ZU profits that are shared with members of the Dazzle.
Annual Membership Perks
- Preferred access to exclusive and premium content and events.
- Access to archived events and knowledge base.
- Resources to promote our shared vision for more inclusive, smarter startup capital, culture, and community.
- Access to our internal marketplace of technical experts, investors, and other founders.
- Access to Zebras Unite Capital, referrals to our network of aligned investment partners, and transaction cost savings on investment platforms like WeFunder.
- Discounts on services provided by other members, partners, and sponsors.
- Listing on our external marketplace of zebra goods and services.
- A badge to display on your personal or corporate profile identifying you as a Zebra.
How much does it cost to join the Co-Op?
We are starting with these three initial membership tiers (Individual, Solopreneur/Small Team and Small Business). We will offer corporate memberships for larger companies and memberships serving investors and non-profit organizations beginning in June 2021.
|Membership Category||Share Buy In + Fee||Annual Dues||Perfect for|
Individual: one-person membership
$150 ($100 buy in + $50 fee)
Individuals and Zebra curious allies
Solopreneur or Small Team: sole proprietors or teams of up to 3
$200 ($100 buy in + $100 fee)
Solopreneurs and small teams wanting company exposure
Small Business: for organizations with fewer than 9 employees.
$350 ($100 buy in + $250 fee)
Companies seeking education, technical assistance, and capital connections
Do I have to be a member of the Zebras Unite Cooperative to join a chapter or participate in Zebras Unite programming?
No. You can join a local chapter, join our online community, attend events, and partake in other programming that is offered by Zebras Unite. Some services and offerings, however, are only available to members of the cooperative. You can become a member of the Zebras Unite Cooperative directly using the links above, or through any chapter.
I still have more questions.
No problem! You can share your questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.