Ecosystem thinking has become popular among entrepreneurship advocates in the past decade. For proponents of worker cooperatives, the Cooperative Growth Ecosystem framework helps us bridge the gap between the proven benefits and growth potential of worker-owned businesses and the current reality that there are only about a dozen larger worker cooperatives (with 50 or more employees) in the U.S. today. 
The field of worker cooperative development is still nascent, and none of the local ecosystems to support it can be considered mature—that is, with all elements from capital to policy to business supports working together strategically to achieve such scale and density that worker cooperatives constitute a measurable part of the economy.
For us, the question is not whether a given place already has the ecosystem elements to support thriving worker cooperatives—we believe that all places have this potential—but which elements are strong in a place and how they can be used to build more capacity. The ecosystem itself does not create worker cooperatives. Entrepreneurs, whether they are individual worker-owners or cooperative developers, create worker cooperatives.