The Hive announces 77 groups and co‑ops receive £66,000 worth of expert advice

The Hive, our co-operative business support programme run by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co‑operative Bank, has supported 77 groups with £66,000 worth of expert advice.

As a new start-up business, Blake House Filmmakers Co-operative applied to The Hive to access an experienced peer mentor to help them with a range of areas, including business development HR and finance. As they look to increase their client base and establish a regular stream of work, they applied to get access to one of The Hive's peer mentors, specifically one that works in the creative industries, to give them some mentor support at a critical stage in their development. Read the case study in full.

Cuckoo Farm Print Workshop, part of Cuckoo Farm Studios, applied to The Hive when a change in its’ tenancy agreement required the Workshop to incorporate so that responsibility for the tenancy could be shared amongst all workshop members. Without support from The Hive the workshop would not have survived, as it would not have been able to navigate the process of incorporating as a co-operative and therefore would have had to dissolve the workshop. Read the case study in full.

Paul Lawler, Head of Media Relations & Public Affairs at the Co-operative Bank, says:

"The Hive brings the Bank's commitment to the co-operative sector to life by providing funding over three years for resources and expertise to help existing and new co-operatives grow and flourish. We are delighted to welcome the first 40 groups through the programme, and help support the growth and development of co-operatives in a wide range of sectors. We look forward to seeing The Hive develop further as more organisations utilise this unique programme.”

James de le Vingne, Programme Manager for The Hive, says:

"The diversity of support being requested to date - both in terms of sectors represented and where groups and co-ops are based - is really encouraging and a great demonstration of the richness of the co-op sector. There's a healthy appetite from start-ups to explore and embrace the co-op model, evidenced in the volume of requests for 1-2-1 support, but also in the demand for our pilot ‘Is a coop right for you?’ events which took place in November. I'm looking forward to hosting more of these sessions across 2017 and meeting more of the groups we're supporting through the programme."

The Hive is open all year round for groups looking to start, grow or strengthen a co-operative or community enterprise. Successful applications are then matched with an expert co-operative business advisor, or a mentor from an established co-operative business who has ‘been there and done it’. In addition, The Hive offers FREE 'Is a co-operative right for you?' sessions for anyone interested in learning more about co-operatives, particularly enterprises and start-ups, as well as business advisers, researchers, community organisers and others who want to explore the co-operative option.

INFOGRAPHIC: Overview of groups and co-operatives supported through the Hive


Groups and co-operatives can apply for support throughout the year. Read more about groups supported through The Hive or apply for support today www.thehive.coop/apply.

Written by Leila O'Sullivan
Updated: 15/11/2016