Published25th June 2021
This short paper offers national and local policymakers optimistic and practical options for addressing the economic and environmental challenges that lie ahead. It draws on promising new data from the UK’s co-operative sector.
- Co-ops share power and wealth by design. Their mutual purpose and distinctive ‘one member one vote’ democracy drives inclusion and fairness, enhances wellbeing, reduces inequalities, builds resilience and makes them very effective at meeting common needs.
- New evidence shows the co-op model has performed very well during the Covid pandemic, being more resilient than businesses generally, while protecting worker wellbeing and meeting community need.
- Co-ops are as ambitious as ever and markedly more ambitious than small businesses generally, but government’s business support and enterprise finance schemes do not currently cater to their needs.
- National policymakers should re-allocate resources to start providing business support that caters to the distinct approaches co-ops take to investment, organisational development and business strategy.
- The UK government should also take legislative and non-legislative action to create a world-class corporate framework for the UK’s ambitious co-ops, which is currently very much lacking.
- Local policymakers should establish clear objectives for increasing the number, scale and impact of co-ops in their area and then allocate business support resources accordingly.
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