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Supporting fair and ethical business in partnership with The Co-operative Bank
Business Support – help for your co-op: Application guidance

Allocation of support

We aim to support as many applications as possible but unfortunately cannot support all, so we will prioritise those where we think the support can be most impactful.

The allocation of support will depend on the following criteria: 

  • That your co-op cannot access this support elsewhere via Co-operatives UK’s advice team or funded programmes

  • The confidence we have that your organisation has capacity to benefit from the support

  • How impactful we think the support could be to help you achieve your aims

  • If you have a valid business model

  • If we see that the co-op model is a central part of 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 co-ops 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.