NEW: Business Support for Co‑ops

Get the help you need with Business Support for Co-ops

If you’re curious about setting up a new business as a co-op, are keen to grow your existing cooperative, or looking to convert to one, Business Support for Co-ops is designed for you.

Brought to you by Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank, working in partnership to support fair, ethical enterprise, the programme helps build better co-operative businesses by offering up to six days expert support to:

  • Start-up businesses that want to be co-ops.
  • Existing co-ops that want to grow or adapt their services or meet challenges.
  • Businesses that want to convert to the co-op model.

From bespoke guidance and mentoring in HR, marketing, finance, governance and more, to digital tools and events – the programme offers a wide range of easy-to-access services to help co-op businesses start, grow and succeed. Support is tailored to the business’s specific needs and schedule – and can include peer mentoring from an established co-op.

Any kind of business can be a co-op. There are co-op bakeries, breweries, energy suppliers, bookstores, community gardens, farmers, sports clubs, acting agencies – and much more. But they all have one key thing in common: they are owned and controlled by their members, who have a say in how the business is run and a share in its success.

Co-ops are worth around £40 billion to the UK economy each year and are also resilient in challenging economic conditions. They were five times less likely to stop trading in 2021, compared to businesses generally. The evidence of their contribution to a stronger, fairer, and more ethical economy is compelling.

Want to know more? Find out about the Business Support for Co-ops programme here