The Co-operative Bank and Co-operatives UK Today have launched a business support programme aimed at helping people start or grow co-operative or community enterprises.
The Hive offers online business advice and guidance, one-to-one support, peer mentoring, and group training sessions, and covers key issues including registration, membership development, and co-operative finance.
Over the next three years, The Hive, with £1m funding from The Co-operative Bank, will support the development of the 7000+ existing independent co-operatives in the UK, and support new start-ups.
Niall Booker, chief executive at The Co-operative Bank said:
“The Hive can guide business people through the process of starting a co-operatively run business, assist those wanting to convert to a co-operative, and help existing co-ops grow. Last year we underpinned our commitment to supporting co-operative values and ethics in the UK with the launch of our extended Ethical Policy. This partnership brings our commitment to life by providing funding over the next three years to launch and promote The Hive in order to provide resources and expertise to helping existing and new co-operatives grow and flourish.”