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Delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank

Workshop: Freelancers unite! The power of co-ops and joint working


Start date / time
Thursday 09 February 2023, 11:00am
End date / time
Thursday 09 February 2023, 3:30pm
Doncaster – Danum Gallery, Library, and Museum (Flying Scotsman room)
Organised by
Co-operatives UK
Event type
Freelancers unite! The power of co-ops and joint working, workshop in Doncaster

Join us in Doncaster for this unique opportunity to discover the power of co-ops through the eyes of freelancers working together – in partnership with the Ownership Hub in South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. 

Co-operatives UK – in partnership with The Co-operative Bank – delivers the Business Support for Co-ops programme offering up to 10 days’ tailored support to start-up and existing co-ops. As part of the programme, we are putting on several FREE introductory webinars including this workshop which is co-delivered by The Ownership Hub.

Do you work in the arts, culture and creative industries in the South Yorkshire region?

You may be working for yourself and that can mean isolated or insecure work. You may have heard stories of why people moved from collective to formal co-operative working, why it’s worth it.

Interested in how to use wasted or empty spaces in your town or city centres to make them a culture destination?

According to the latest official figures, there are some five million self-employed people in the UK – more than at any time since records began. That’s 15% of the workforce.

It makes good business sense for self employed people to join forces, form co-ops and enjoy benefits such as shared costs, resources, knowledge and expertise. Co-ops enable their members to have access to fairer, more decent work, as well as a share of the profits. And by coming together, freelancers can bid for larger scale tenders, gain access to new markets and innovate through sharing creative ideas. 

Join this workshop to hear from co-ops and discover how it’s benefitted their working lives.

Who should attend?

  • Those working in the arts and creatives in South Yorkshire
  • You may already be a freelancer in the creative industries e.g. artists, photographers, actors, musicians, designers, games designers, publishing, TV, media
  • You may be looking to set up your own business in arts and creatives sector, looking at opportunities for co-working or utilising under-used spaces and units
  • You may be an existing business looking to convert to a more equitable and democratic structure
  • You may be a social enterprise advisor, a voluntary sector support agency or from a Local Authority keen to learn more about co-ops

This is an interactive session and place are limited so book early to avoid disappointment!

What will attendees learn?

  • Participants will be introduced to the co-operative model and how this can be a great opportunity to work more collectively and democratically particularly for freelancers who work in the arts, culture and creative industries.
  • Understand what a co‑op is and isn't.
  • Hear from some co-ops

Participants will learn what support is available for those wishing to set up a co-op – including through The Hive, delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority's Ownership Hub. 

Speakers and facilitators

  • Matt Hill, Co-founder, Union Street, Sheffield, co-op co-working space
  • Ben Philp, Creative Director, Creative Coop, a co-op design studio in Essex

  • Petra Morris, Co-operatives UK – manages The Hive business support programme
  • Colette Harvey – Co-operatives UK and the Ownership Hub on behalf of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
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