Start a co-op is a business support programme for people wanting to launch their own co-op. To be eligible for this programme you must fall into one of the following categories:
A group of (at least two) people aiming to register a co-op in the UK within 12 months
An existing co-op that incorporated in the UK less than 18 months ago and/or has not started trading yet
An existing organisation aiming to convert to a co-op in the next 12 months, that has been incorporated for less than 18 months and/or has not started trading
If you have started trading or have been incorporated for more than 18 months this programme is not for you. Instead, you can contact Co-operatives UK’s Advice Team for support or apply for the following programmes:
If you are an established co-op you can apply for our business support programme for existing co-ops
If you are an established organisation or business that is not a co-op you can apply for our business support programme to convert to a co-op
Before you start
Before you start your application, we recommend you read this application guidance carefully. It includes information about:
The application process and how we assess your application
The documents and information you need to gather before you apply
A preview of all the questions you will be asked in the form.
We advise you to prepare as much as possible in advance. You can download a copy of this guidance as a pdf file by clicking on 'download pdf' button on the side menu.
If you are awarded the support package, you will be asked to contribute a £100 commitment fee (inclusive of VAT) or £75 for Co-operatives UK members. The fee has proven to be the best approach to ensure the support is allocated to teams that are truly committed to participating in the programme. Co-operatives UK reinvests the funds into future support provision. If the fee is a barrier to your participation in the programme, please let us know in your application and we will consider waiving the fee.