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Supporting fair and ethical business in partnership with The Co-operative Bank

Business Support for Co-ops – peer mentor handbook

Peer mentor handbook

The Mentor Handbook is a guide for mentoring organisations providing mentoring support to successful groups via the Business Support for co-ops programme.

The Handbook sets out how the Business Support for co-ops programme is delivered, the processes involved as well as offering useful tips and guidance in delivering mentoring support.


How to use this document

  • Use the contents listings on the right hand side (or below for mobile users)
  • Use the search bar to search for specific content
  • You can download the resource as a pdf
  • There are editable templates at points during the document – download these to use during your sessions

About Business Support for Co-ops

The Business Support for Co-ops programme is delivered by Co-operatives UK, the voice for the UK’s thousands of independent co‑ops.

Business Support for Co-ops is supported by The Co-operative Bank, the only UK high street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy, and co-operative values enshrined in its articles of association.

As part of its commitment to supporting co-operatives, Business Support for co-ops provides resources to help grow new co-ops and community businesses to start-up, existing co-ops to grow, and non co-ops to convert.

The Business Support for co-ops started out life as The Hive back in February 2016. To date over 1,200 groups have benefited from support.

What does the Business Support for co-ops programme offer?

Up to six days of tailored business support. Alongside expert advice, we will pair groups with an existing co-op to receive half a day of peer-support. The support includes:

  • Start a co-op: Support for people wanting to launch their own co-op
  • Help for your co-op: Support for existing trading co-ops to help them grow or adapt their services or those that might be going through a challenging time
  • Convert to a co-op: Support for existing businesses wanting to become a co-op.

You can read case studies of groups and co-operatives that have successfully applied for expert advice or peer mentoring through this programme.

Find out about the Business Support for Co-ops programme