If you’re a new or existing co-operative, the Hub can offer you up to four days’ free support. Expert advice and training is delivered by co-operative development advisers and is available to you at any stage of your co-operative’s journey – if you’re starting out, wanting to expand or wanting to change your management structure, the Hub is here to help.
During your advice and training, advisers can also work with you to put together a finance package, with small grants available through the Hub to co-operatives that secure loan finance.
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub also offers specialist packages of support for:
whilst supporting a number of co-operative development projects overseas.
Advice and training
We work with experienced co-operative development advisers to bring you the very best free advice, training and consultancy on how to set up, run and grow a sustainable, co-operative business and achieve great things.
An adviser will visit you and put together a proposal for tailored advice and training, which could cover business planning, financial, staffing, legal and governance matters….whatever the adviser and your co-operative think is the best way of ensuring the long-term success of your enterprise. They can also advise on your options for finance.
Most co-operative enterprises need access to finance to help them start up and grow. We can help you identify and apply for the finance package that is right for your co-operative. Small grants are available to businesses already receiving support from the Hub providing they secure loan finance, and we work in partnership with The Co-operative Loan Fund, which specialises in providing finance to co-operatives.
We are able to offer small grants to co-operatives that have received advice and training from the Hub and who have been successful in applying for loan finance from any lender.
If you and your co-operative development adviser think a grant would help your co-operative at this stage of its development, together, you can submit an application for a grant of up to £5000.
The Co-operative Loan Fund is a separate entity from the Hub; however, we work closely alongside one another, and the Hub recommends the Fund’s services for co-operatives seeking accessible, ethical loan finance.
It lends exclusively to co-operatives and is entirely funded and run by co-operatives; so, unlike many conventional lenders, it understands and actively supports democratically owned and controlled enterprises.
Secured and unsecured loans are available to enterprises that require finance to:
- Set up
- Assist employee buyouts or company successions
- Purchase a property or business
- Purchase capital equipment or create working capital
Follow this link for further information about The Co-operative Loan Fund.
Expert support for renewable energy co-operatives
Our commitment to co-operative development and renewable energy has come together in a package of support designed to help ensure the success of community-owned renewable energy projects. We will give your co-operative access to our ‘pool’ of renewable energy specialists and, depending on how much support you require, we will meet up to 100% of the cost.
We specifically wish to address your advice needs in the early stages of project development; helping you lay down firm foundations for success. You identify your priorities for support and we put you in contact with the appropriate experts to discuss your exact requirements. Our experts will then provide you and us with a quote for the work discussed and this will be used as the basis for agreeing the level of support.
Experts are able to provide support for any of the following technologies:
- Anaerobic digestion
and they currently advise on the following areas of project development:
- Legal services
- Technical services eg, project feasibility, due diligence and environmental impact assessments
- Specialist insurance advice
Please note: This package of support is exclusively available to renewable energy groups that have been approved for business advice and training from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub. If your group has previously received advice and training from the Hub and now wish to apply for this additional support, please contact your Hub adviser.