The UK's most inspirational co-ops, chosen by you
From large commercial businesses to expanding enterprises and innovative start-ups, there are thousands of thriving co‑operatives across the UK. We are asking you, the people who are running, using and supporting co‑operatives up and down the country, to decide which organisations will be named Co-operative of the Year 2018.
The awards are across four categories and include, for the first time, the Co‑operative Council of the Year 2018 to recognise best practice as demonstrated by co-operative local authorities.
We have now compiled our shortlist across each of the four awards. An online vote - NOW OPEN - will determine the winners. The window for voting closes on Friday 15 June.
The Co-operative of the Year Award Categories
Leading Co-operative of the Year 2018
The leading co-operative of the year award is for co-ops with a turnover above £30 million. Featuring high-performing retail, farming and housing co-ops among others, this will be a hotly contested category – and Suma was last year’s proud winner.
Inspiring Co-operative of the Year 2018
This award is for co-ops with a turnover of between £1m and £30 million, and includes a range of thriving co-ops, from leisure trusts and sports clubs to successful worker-owned businesses, like last year's winner Daily Bread.
Breakthrough Co-operative of the Year 2018
Won last year by New Leaf Co-operative, this award is for co‑ops with a turnover of up to £1 million, covering everything from start-ups and community shops, to freelancer co‑ops and care providers.
Co-operative Council of the Year 2018
A new award for 2018, this recognises best practice as demonstrated by co-operative local authorities and also celebrates the great work delivered at a local level.
"As a member owned society, this award win is particularly important to us because it was voted for by our members. The fact that they took the time to go online and support us shows that they are really excited and engaged with the work we’re doing in their local community." Ben Reid, Chief Executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, Co-operative of the Year winner in 2015
- Nominations for the four award catgories were accepted until 29 April. Those submitting nominations were asked to set out, in no more than 250 words, their reasons for nominating organisations for a co-op for the award
- Online voting is from 4 May to 15 June
- The winners will be announced at Co-operative Congress on Saturday 23 June
How to nominate a co-op
The following is for information only. The nomination process ended on 29 April.
Simply complete the form, explaining in 250 words or less why you are nominating the co-operative, whether it's yours or another, and submit this with your name and organisation. The only provisos are that the co-op you are nominating must be a member of Co-operatives UK and cannot have been shortlisted in 2017.
What makes for a good nomination
The best nominations will persuade someone who doesn't know the co-op to vote for it. Fast growth? Profitable? Innovative? Great member involvement? Excellent products? Making a difference? It's your decision as to why the co-op deserves the nomination. The key is to convince others to vote for it.
How the shortlisting works
Up to five co-operatives for each category will be shortlisted by our nominations panel, made up of Co‑operatives UK’s Chair, Secretary General and Membership Manager. Shortlisting will be based on the strength of the 250 word nomination(s). The previous year's winners and shortlisted contenders are not eligible to enter.
How the voting works
Anyone can vote once for their favourite in each category. So each person gets four votes in total, though you can just vote for one if you want. Co‑operatives are encouraged to promote the awards to their staff, customers and members. All votes must be online via the awards website.
What the winners get
As well as being presented with their awards at our annual ceremony, the winning co-ops will benefit from promotion of their co-operative and the kudos of winning this prestigious award. The Breakthrough Co‑operative of the Year will also have the option to access £1,000 worth of specialist business advice from The Hive, our business support programme in partnership with The Co-operative Bank.