Skip to main content
Supporting fair and ethical business in partnership with The Co-operative Bank
Business Support – convert to a co-op: Application guidance

Allocation of support

We aim to support as many applications as possible but unfortunately cannot support all. To make sure the support is as impactful as possible, we will award it to organisations that can show they have already done some work in understanding what it means to convert to a co-op.

Before applying please consider doing some of the following and referring to them in your application:

  • Start involving potential members in the process

The allocation of support will depend on the following criteria: 

  • The confidence you’ve given us that you will convert to a co-op within the next 12 months

  • The confidence we have that you have a team committed to converting the organisation to the co-op that can benefit from the support

  • How impactful we think the support could be to help you get to the next stage

  • If you have a valid business case and we think that the business model can realistically succeed

  • If we see that the co-op model is a central aspect to your business model

The application form is designed to help you explain these aspects, so please provide the appropriate information when prompted.  

Co-operatives UK is also keen to support organisations that are led by, employ or support people who identify with groups that are under-represented or discriminated against in the business and third sector, in the workplace or in their communities. Equity and solidarity are core values of the co-operative movement so we will consider these aspects when prioritising applications. The application questions related to these points are not compulsory but please consider them when applying and highlight them where appropriate in your application.

Finally, we will be prioritising applications that are aligned with Co-operatives UK's strategy. This is working to build a strong, sustainable and diverse UK co-operative movement that positions co-operatives as a better way to do business and transform people’s lives. In particular, we might prioritise applications where one or more of the following points applies:

  • Your co-op will be led by, employ or support young people (18-35 years old)
  • Your co-op brings innovation to the co-op sector. You may be filling a gap in the market, responding to market failure or creating alternative solutions to specific issues
  • Your co-op and the support you receive is a learning opportunity for the co-operative movement

However, these are not eligibility criteria, so please apply even if your co-op does not fit in this list of priorities.