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Is your co-operative a micro-entity?

This is November's blog on legal and governance issues from Linda Barlow, in Co-operatives UK’s Advice and Policy Team.

The blog is for people interested in starting, growing and advising co-operatives. They aim to share best practice on key issues, so we’d welcome comments and discussion on your relevant experiences. In order to help the thread of the discussion would ask that you keep your responses short and focused on the issues being explored.


Thank you for your feedback! Co-operative Advice-updated letters of engagement

Thank you to the co-operative development advisors that have provided feedback on our new letters of engagement.  We have taken this onboard and made some changes.

Winter-cold salty kisses – how six thousand co-ops help people to come together

I wrote in August about the inspiring story of Hastings Pier and how it could be renewed through community ownership, after the research we published by Jess Steele on piers and heritage assets.

Sheffield Hallam University - MSc Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management

Sheffield Hallam University is now taking applications for the January intake of the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management.

This specialist part-time Masters course is suitable for people who are:

FAO gives agricultural co-operatives extended support ahead of World Food Day

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today between the FAO and the International Co-operative Alliance pronounces the contribution of agricultural co-operatives unique and states that they are crucial partners in the fight against hunger and poverty. The memorandum empowers agricultural co-operatives with yet a stronger negotiating position towards state partners, NGOs, and agribusiness.

It’s about members

What happens to the Co-operative Bank over the next period comes down to who owns what, when the dust settles and whether that helps one of Britain’s great recent ethical businesses move forward.



How to operate with minority external investors is something we explore in a new report we have released, called Good Governance in Minority Investor Owned Co-operatives – a review of international practice by the distinguished academic, professor Johnston Birchall.



National Minimum Wage to rise from 1 October 2013

From Tuesday 1 October 2013 the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise in accordance with the recommendations set out by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC) in April this year.

From 1 October 2013:

One new co-operative business every day of the working week

There are 6,169 co-operative enterprises in the UK and these are owned by 15.4 million members.

The number of co-operatives is increasing at a rate of 6% per annum, averaged over the last four years, which is represents around 250 new co-operatives a year – around one new co-operative every working day of the week.

The real headline on energy this week

The phrase ‘Small is Beautiful’ was not coined by Fritz Schumacher, but by his publisher. The phrase was evocative and in a period of modernism in which architecture, development and media focused on the big, it helped to conjure up a different path of human-scale living. There are writers such as David Boyle today, who understand that, even more so in a networked society and economy, that scale – and scope – matters.

Co-operatives West Midlands - supporting a thriving sector

This new video from Co-operatives West Midlands demonstrates the co-operative advantage and shows how co-operatives are thriving in the West Midlands.



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