Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members, whether they are customers, employees or residents. As well as giving members an equal say and share of the profits, co-operatives act together to build a better world through co-operation.
There are 5,450 independent co-operative businesses in the UK which between them turnover £33 billion a year and have nearly 13 million members. The UK co-operative sector has grown by 21% since the start of the credit crunch in 2008, whilst the UK economy as a whole has stagnated.
This magazine is a co-operative!
Co-operatives UK works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises. In this The International Year of Co-operatives, it has launched a new online support service for start-up co-operatives.
The new online support service for start-up co-operatives will include:
• An accessible guide through all of the basic steps to consider before setting up a co-operative;
• A useful quiz designed to help determine whether the co-operative option is the right one;
• Case studies and examples of how other successful co-operatives work;
• Links to relevant resources and publications;
• Clear links to specialist business advisers who can help make a co-operative dream a reality.
Commenting on the launch of the new online support service, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “The co-operative sector as a whole has been outperforming the UK economy since the start of the credit crunch, reflecting a turn to more trusted businesses following the financial crisis of the last few years.
“With the co-operative way of doing business enjoying such a renaissance, our new online support service will really help people to develop their ideas and access the advice they need to build sustainable co-operative businesses.”
So if you are thinking of starting a business why not choose the co-operative model?