Apply for our peer mentoring scheme, and get matched with an experienced mentor who has 'been there and done it'.
Our peer mentors (see a list below) have been through the process of setting up a co-operative or community business and will be able to give you moral support, help with ideas-generation and act as a sounding board. Peer mentor support is available for co-ops and community businesses at various stages of development, from business planning to setting up as a co-op.
- Watch a short video introducing peer mentoring and read more information below
- Read case studies of groups and co-operatives who have successfully applied for a peer mentor through The Hive
- Take the Next step in applying for support from The Hive
Please note: Successful applicants will be asked to pay a fee of £100, or £75 for Co-operatives UK members (including VAT).
Peer mentoring in detail
2016 Timing / delivery
3 days mentoring support (4 days for community energy). The content of support is agreed between you and your peer mentor.
The Hive is open to applications all year round with applications reviewed at monthly panel assessment meetings. We aim to notify applicants of the outcome within two weeks of a monthly panel meeting, which means that the maximum amount of time you will have to wait for a decision following submission is eight weeks.
£100; or £75 for CUK members
How do peer mentors help?
Our mentors are viewed as a sounding board and business friend. They help to generate problem solving ideas and encourage strategic thinking. A good mentor offers choices as opposed to directives. They help to spot problems, not sort them; our mentors will empathise and not judge.
Mentoring activities are likely to be undertaken using a range of interventions, including face to face meetings (one to one or group), telephone calls, and email exchanges.
About peer mentoring – more information
Our peer mentors will:
- Engage with mentees to agree how mentoring could support their prospective enterprise.
- Agree a programme of mentoring activity which best meets the mentee's needs.
- Encourage their mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the challenges facing them.
- Help mentees to review their progress and set realistic and practical targets to realise their goals.
- Help mentees to reflect on, and learn from, things that did not turn out as expected.
- Refer mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support when appropriate.
- Encourage mentees to take responsibility for their own decisions, plans and actions.
- Present a positive image of enterprise mentoring and follow the code of practice.
- Keep up to date and accurate records of mentee contact, in line with Co‑operatives UK's requirements.
A mentor will listen, act as a sounding-board, provide inspiration, draw on their own experience and help prevent mistakes being made. Mentors can share their experience, offer suggestions and help the mentee group to reflect. They will encourage and support the group to make the most of its potential.
We don't expect our mentors to provide specific business advice or technical support which the group will rely on. For more detailed one to one advice and support with registering your co-operative, see our one to one support package and our preferred support providers.
Who are our peer mentors?
Type of support
|Alpha Communication||Digital, creative and media||Nationally||Start-ups; Community Shares|
|Brighton Energy||Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability; Digital, creative and media||London; South East||Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy|
|Cafe Kino||Community retail, wholesale; Tourism, arts and heritage; Food and farming, CSA||South West||Start-ups|
|Calverts||Digital, creative and media||Nationally; London||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Community Broadband Network (CBN)||Digital, creative and media||Nationally||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Earthworm Housing Co-operative||Housing; Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA; Employment, training and education||North West; West Midlands; Wales||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Grand Union Community Energy||Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability||East of England||The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy|
|Green Fox Community Energy Co-operative||Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability||Nationally; East Midlands||Community Shares; Community Energy|
|MORE Renewables||Community energy generation||North West||Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy|
|North West Housing Services||Housing||North East; North West; Yorkshire and Humberside; West Midlands; Wales; Northern Ireland||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE)||Community energy generation||Northern Ireland||Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy|
|Operation Farm||Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA||North West||The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Energy|
|OrganicLea||Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA; Employment, training and education||London||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Plymouth Energy Community||Community energy generation||South West||The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares; Community Energy|
|Regather Co-operative||Environment, sustainability; Pubs and brewing; Tourism, arts and heritage; Food and farming, CSA; Employment, training and education||Yorkshire and Humberside||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Social Enterprise and Co-operative Development (SECOD)||Environment, sustainability; Food and farming, CSA||North East; North West; Scotland||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|South East London Community Energy||Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability||London||The co-operative option; Community Shares; Community Energy|
|Southern Staffordshire Community Energy||Community energy generation; Environment, sustainability||West Midlands||Community Energy|
|Suma Foods||Community retail, wholesale||Nationally; Yorkshire and Humberside||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Tamar Grow Local CIC||Food and farming, CSA||South West||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|The Anglers Rest||Pubs and brewing; Community retail, wholesale; Tourism, arts and heritage||East Midlands||Start-ups; Community Shares|
|The Fox and Hounds (Denmead) Co-operative Pub||Pubs and brewing||South East||The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares|
|The Kitchen on Great Moor Street||Food and farming, CSA||North West||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|The New Leaf Co-op||Community retail, wholesale||Scotland||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Unicorn Grocery||Community retail, wholesale||North West||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|Village Greens Community Co-op||Community retail, wholesale||North West||The co-operative option; Start-ups; Community Shares|
|Voluntary Action Harrow||Employment, training and education||London||The co-operative option; Start-ups|
|West Highland Free Press||Digital, creative and media||Scotland||The co-operative option|
Hear from some of the groups and co-operatives who have already received expert advice and peer mentoring through The Hive. Read our case studies…