Looking for resources and community that worked for them, a group of young, neurodivergent people came together to create a co-op – and a platform – that would help others like themselves.

The group formed the Neurodivergent Futures Cooperative, which created ND Connect – an online platform that helps users to find “mentors, friends, and an authentic, supportive community that understands you and wants to help you thrive”.

ND Connect partners with post-secondary institutions to give users access to mentorship and improve graduate outcomes for neurodivergent students. With their app, users can find meaningful professional and personal connections and access a Slack community, as well as resources, weekly hangouts, and events.

“Being a co-op gives us a competitive advantage,” said a co-op representative. “We know that neurodivergent people have a long history of not having their voices listened to by organizations meant to serve them. We wanted to make sure that this never happens here by choosing the organizational structure that best embodies economic justice, community empowerment, and ‘nothing about us without us’”.

The co-op has big goals. They want to “make an impact for hundreds of thousands of neurodivergent people, create a great place to work, and to inspire other founders to pursue the co-op model and share ownership with their employees.”

Eventually, the co-op plans to share ownership with its workers and the community members who use the platform.

“The experience working with Co-operatives First was simply amazing. We were so lost getting started and Kyle and the team were always happy to help answer any questions, make introductions, and provide instrumental support. They are definitely among the best resources we’ve accessed along our journey so far.”