Creating a strategy for the UK co‑operative sector

What if more people could breathe new life into their local high streets? What if staff owned and controlled their workplace? What if people had a real stake in the businesses and organisations they use?

What is at stake

Across the country, people feel they have no influence over important parts of their lives – where they live, where they work, where they shop. By co‑operating, people can get more control over the things that matter to them. We need, though, to extend the benefits of co‑operation. We need to help even more people to work together to solve problems in their communities, workplaces and economy as a whole.

What we need

Over the next six months we will be talking to organisations from across the co‑operative sector and beyond – allotment societies and sports clubs, freelancer collectives and farmer owned businesses – to develop a strategy to create a fairer, co‑operative economy.

From ensuring the support is in place for co‑operatives to thrive, to boosting collaboration amongst co‑operatives and kick starting new forms of co‑operative innovation, we will create a practical strategy for the co-operative sector.

What we will do

The strategy will be created through a participative process.

  1. The creation of the strategy will be driven by a strategic reference panel, headed up by Dame Pauline Green, with leaders from across the co‑operative and social innovation fields.
  2. It will build on existing strategies from the co‑operative and community enterprise sectors, the big ideas for developing co‑operative innovation and, above all, the needs of existing and future co‑ops.
  3. Crucially, the strategy will be co‑created with people running co‑ops, community enterprises and collaborative organisations.
  4.  A draft framework was discussed and refined at our flagship event, Co‑operative Congress, in Wakefield on 17‑18 June.
  5. The UK's first ever census to identify the operational needs of co‑operatives has been conducted.
  6. And there are discussions of strategy, innovation and growth being debated on an independent blog.

Together we will create a co‑operative development strategy that will enable more people to work together and take control of the things that matter to them. Hear in full from Dame Pauline Green:

What you can do now

The strategic reference panel has set up an independent blog for people to share and debate their views on a strategy for developing the co‑operative sector. We would value you taking some time to write a piece for the blog and, more widely, to comment and discuss the others posts on there.