About Good Work

Our Goals

  • Grow resilient, creative, and entrepreneurial community leaders from all walks of life
  • Collaborate with others to improve services, policies, and community leadership that support locally organized intiatives, collaboratives, and community-based economic development

Our Values and Organizing Principles

  • Education and lifelong learning
  • Resilience
  • Self-reliance
  • Economic literacy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Meaningful work and good jobs
  • Quality goods and services
  • Stewardship and sustainability 
  • Servant leadership
  • Beloved community


In 1991, Good Work was founded as a nonprofit corporation in Durham, North Carolina. Realizing that entrepreneurship is a way that motivated individuals — regardless of economic or social background — can increase a family's economic strength and create community jobs, they built a program to support those efforts.  Good Work has trained thousands in economic literacy, entrepreneurship, and community leadership skills, helping create or strengthen small businesses or social enterprises.  

Good Work's purposes are to:

1: Organize against poverty, prejudice, neighborhood tensions, and community deterioration in order to strengthen families, communities, and economic opportunity.

2:  Assist people to help save, create, or enhance meaningful work and good jobs through entrepreneurship and enterprise development training and coaching, with special interests in cultivating and strengthening enterprises that are community-based, cooperatives, democratic workplaces, and strive to be more sustainable within the triple bottom line (social, environmental, financial) dimensions of people, planet, and profit.

3: Provide culturally appropriate educational activities to encourage workers, self-employed individuals, community leaders, government officials, and others of the general public to engage in collaborative and culturally appropriate leadership development, community building, and community development activities aimed at improving the social, economic, and ecological health and wellbeing of families and communities.

4: Engage in partnerships that provide access to capital and other resources for small businesses, community enterprises, and collaborative community development initiatives.