Support for Co-operatives and Co-operators

Co-operatives UK

Co-operatives UK is the national trade body that campaigns for co-operation and works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises.

Co-operatives UK works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises. It has a unique role as a trade association for co-operatives and its campaigns for co-operation, such as Co-operatives Fortnight, bring together all those with a passion and interest in co-operative action.

Any organisation supportive of co-operation and mutuality can join and there are many opportunities online for individuals to connect to the latest co-operative news, innovations and campaigns. All members benefit from specialist services and the chance to network with other co-operatives.

Members work across the economy, from high street consumer-owned co-operatives to pubs to football clubs, healthcare to agriculture, credit unions to community owned shops. Together the co-operative economy is worth some £33.5 billion and has 12.9 million members. Co-operatives are the largest membership movement in the UK.

The3rdimagazine is a member of Co-Operatives UK – view


The Co-operative Enterprise Hub

The Co-operative Enterprise Hub works with regional and national groups of experts to offer advice, training and consultancy on how to set up, run and grow a sustainable co-operative business.

In particular they offer support to co-operatives that are:

  • Preparing to start trading
  • In their first year of trading
  • Experiencing rapid growth
  • Planning to move premises
  • Needing to buy equipment
  • Developing a new product, service or market
  • Wanting to change their management or structure

You can apply for up to four days support which includes business planning, financial, staffing, legal and governance advice. The advice and training is tailored to your business needs, whether you’re a music centre in Bristol or a wind farm in Scotland. Just complete the online application form and we’ll arrange for an experienced co-operative business adviser to visit you and prepare a proposal. This might include business consultancy, management training, a finance package of a small grant and a loan … whatever the adviser and your co-operative think is the best way of ensuring the sustainability of your enterprise.


Co-operative Development Scotland

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) was set up in 2006 to increase the contribution of co-operative enterprise to the Scottish economy.

CDS is  a subsidiary of Scottish Enterprise and have a Scotland-wide remit to ‘promote and facilitate the development of co-operative enterprises’.

If you are:

  • looking to start a business;
  • interested in transferring ownership of your business to your employees; or
  • an established co-owned business,

CDS can offer support.

Co-operative models are relevant to all sectors but have particular growth potential in Scotland’s food and drink, tourism, forestry, renewable energy and creative industries.

To find out about co-operatives and the benefits of co-operation, call 0141 951 3055.

The Co-operative Women’s Challenge

The Co-operative Women’s Challenge 2020 is a campaign which will seek to ensure women are fairly represented at all levels within co-operative movement.

You can find out more, here


The Co-operative Party

The Co-operative Party is the political arm of the co-operative movement and has more than 9,000 members.

The party was established in 1917 and has been a sister party of the Labour Party since 1927.

“We believe that people achieve more by working together than they can by working alone. We support the efforts of those who seek success through that co-operative endeavour.”

“We believe that the only way to create a just and fair society is through power being spread evenly throughout society, and not arbitrarily based on wealth, class, gender or race.”

“We work to promote co-operatives and all forms of mutual organisation.”

“We work in partnership with the Labour Party as its sister party to achieve these ends. That means we stand candidates jointly with the Labour Party at all levels of government. There are currently 29 Labour and Co-operative MPs in the House of Commons, 15 Members of the House of Lords, 5 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 9 Members of the Welsh Assembly and hundreds of councillors around the country.”

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