As with any sector, the language used by those already working within it can often be a mystery to those outside. With that in mind, here is the second of two blogs which aim to explain exactly what a Community Business is. You can look back at part one, which answered the question ‘What does it mean to be a Co-operative?’.
Co-operative Futures is a business development consultancy specialising in co-operative, mutual and community led businesses. Founded in 2000 it was set up to provide direct advice and support services and to engage in debates to find mutual solutions for challenges being faced by communities.
So whether you are starting out with an idea, looking to grow and develop your business or want to know about more about community ownership and co-operative business models we can help you.
Working with start-ups and existing companies we advise a variety of enterprises in a wide range of sectors including retail, leisure, community asset transfer, renewable energy, care and many more.
There are many names bandied around for the types of organisation we work with but it boils down to three things: that there is trading activity, they have a social purpose and there is some form of collective ownership. If you think that might be you please get in touch.
Co-operative Futures is an approved provider for the following schemes. For more information, please contact us.
The Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project aims to engage with and support individuals in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment. MORE–>
Community shares can save local shops and pubs, finance renewable energy schemes, transform community facilities, support local food growing, fund new football clubs, restore heritage buildings, and above all, build stronger, more vibrant, and independent communities.
What we do
Looking at your business model, the viability of the business and what you need to get going.
How to make sure your legal structure is the right one and making sure you are doing the right things for your members.
Support to write a share offer document that will enable you to raise capital investment from your community or members.
Looking at how much it costs to run your business, what you should charge to make the right amount of profit and how to understand your accounts.
Identifying who your customers are, what they want to buy, how much they will pay and how to tell them about yourselves.
We help to write one that covers all the important areas. It can be one that is just for use internally or one that is needed to raise finance.
Sutton Community FarmCF Project
The Children’s AllotmentCF Project
Workshops for CommunitiesCF Project
Coastal Producer OrganisationCF Project
Gloucestershire Gateway TrustCF Project
Strategic Planning in Co-operatives – Co-operatives West MidlandsCF Project
Swindon Child CarersCF Project
The Active Wellbeing SocietyCF Project
Clevedon Pier & Heritage TrustCF Project
Ladywood Cleaning Co-operativeCF Project
Energise Sussex CoastCF Project
The Old School House – Future WolvertonCF Project
Co-operative WebCF Project
As with any sector, the language used by those already working within it can often be a mystery to those outside. With that in mind, here is the first of two blogs which aim to explain exactly what a Co-operative is, and the benefits of choosing that structure. In part two, we’ll be discovering more about Community Businesses.
Meet the Team
Social Enterprise Business Adviser
Chris supports a wide variety of co-ops, community businesses and employee ownership transitions, he works on the GEM programme in Gloucestershire and has been building an extension to his house for a very long time.
USE-IT Social Enterprise Adviser
Working hard on the USE-IT! programme in Birmingham Kathy is busy providing support to existing and start-up community businesses in the area and she really doesn't like bannas.
Jo does a bit of everything, from working directly with co-ops and community businesses to developing policy to running Co-op Futures, she even runs the vacuum cleaner round the office occasionally.
Co-operative Futures is part of a workers co-op – The People Co-op, a network of ethical, sustainable businesses here in the UK with a focus on the business to business service companies.
Our head office is at: City Works, Alfred Street, Gloucester. GL1 4DF
You can call us on: 01452 543030
Find us on Facebook HERE