About peer mentoring

Peer mentoring – learning from other co‑ops!

Running a co‑op can be a challenge. Even with the right group of people in place, there will always be unknown issues and challenges ahead.

As part of The Hive support, co‑ops can get the chance to meet and learn from others – co‑ops that have had similar experiences, made mistakes and learnt a lot along the way.

"Meeting other co‑ops through peer mentoring is a learning opportunity for both parties. As an experienced co‑op with a good understanding of the ins and outs of running a co‑op business, our most valuable insights, shared knowledge and encouragement has come from one‑to‑one conversations with members of co‑ops like our own." Sion Whellens, Principle Six and Calverts

More about peer mentoring

How can I apply for the peer mentoring support?

You can apply for peer mentoring support as part of a bespoke package of support which also includes one to one direct support and skills training. To find out more visit www.thehive.coop/apply

What support is available?

  • Up to three days mentoring support.
  • The content of support is agreed between you and your peer mentor.

How does it work?

Mentoring activities are likely to be undertaken using a range of interventions: 

  • Face‑to‑face meetings (one-to-one or group).
  • Telephone calls.
  • Email exchanges.

Who are the peer mentors?

Up to three days mentoring is on offer where a group or co-operative is matched with another, more established and experienced co-operative. The content of support is agreed between the applicant and their mentor. The mentoring will likely take place in a range of ways, from face-to-face meetings (one-to-one or group), phone/video calls or email. Mentor co-operatives need to be a Co-operatives UK member – The Hive team will advise about this during the application process.

How will a peer mentor help my co‑op?

Our peer mentors will:

  • Every mentoring relationship is different; but all mentoring relationships present the opportunity for both mentor and mentee to learn from each other.
  • We aim to match you with a mentoring organisation from a similar industry sector or business model.
  • Our mentors are passionate about co‑operative ways of working and democratic ownership models, helping you to adopt processes around consensus decision‑making and effectively engaging with and managing members.
  • Mentors can introduce you to other similar co‑ops or networks or sign‑post to sources of information, advice or further support when appropriate and they can help you to make more efficient use of such professional or technical advice and support.
  • If appropriate, the mentoring could involve a visit to the mentor’s business or premises to see at first hand how they do things or perhaps meet with board members etc.
  • Mentors will draw on their own experience to help you to spot problems, how to avoid  and how to co‑operatively work through them.

Our peer mentors will not:

  • Be expected to replace the role of consultants or support providers and will not provide specific business advice or technical support which the group will rely on.
  • If you require detailed business support or advice planning or registering your co‑op, please see our one to one support package and our preferred support providers.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Is there a cost?

  • Successful applicants to The Hive will be asked to pay a fee of £100 commitment fee.
  • Members of Co‑operatives UK receive a 25% discount on all support packages. Find out about Co‑operatives UK membership.

"Mentoring is essential to the development of a start‑up co‑op."

"Mentoring SE24 proved to be an extremely interesting and rewarding two‑way learning process."

Updated: 27/03/2019