New platform co-ops / community shares support available

Two new programmes delivered by Co-operatives UK are now open and accepting applications

The UnFound Accelerator, is a 10-week business support programme for teams at the early stage of setting up their platform co-operative.

A Platform co-operative is a democratically owned and controlled business that uses an online platform or mobile app to trade, connect people and pool resources or data. It is built on co-operative principles and values which ensure the platform business:

  • Truly responds to the needs of its community
  • Embeds equity and social purpose from day one
  • Has a growth model that does not involve giving up control to external profit-driven investors.

Eight teams will accompany each other in the exciting journey of turning their pioneering ideas into concrete business solutions. They will be provided with guidance and support to set the foundations of their platform business through Co-operatives UK and Stir to Action’s extensive network of experts.

Teams that complete the UnFound Accelerator will get the chance to pitch their business idea to access funding and support at an event on 21 July 2021 (TBC), towards which the Co-operative Bank has contributed a £10,000 prize pot.

The deadline for applications is midnight 11 April 2021.

If you are interested in applying, read the application guidance and join our webinar at noon on 1 April 2021 where we can provide additional information and answer your questions. (register here)

Boosting Community Business London (Track 2) – a development grant up to £10,000 for community businesses looking to undertake a community share offer

Are you based in Greater London? Are you a new or existing community business? Are you looking for help with developing a community share offer?

The Mayor of London has partnered with Co‑operatives UK and Power to Change to support community businesses in Greater London. We want to grow the social economy and support community businesses looking to take community ownership of local public assets.

Up to five community businesses will be awarded a grant of up to £10,000 to help raise capital via a community share offer.  The grant is intended to fund specialist advice to help you:

  • Create high quality share offer documents.
  • Undertaking a Standard Mark assessment, the quality assurance mark for community shares.
  • Develop a promotional campaign (to reach potential community shares investors).
  • Select the right web platform and cover costs of hosting the share offer online.

Track 2 development grant applications open on 29 March and close on 3 May 2021.