Co-operative Futures is a business development consultancy specialising in co-operative, mutual and community led businesses.

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.

Co-operative Futures is an approved provider for the following schemes for more information contact us


USE IT! is an exciting and innovative 3 year programme, launched in early 2017, to create a new ‘place-based’ network of social enterprises and community businesses who use local assets to tackle poverty and social isolation in their local neighbourhoods across West Birmingham and Sandwell. For more information about how we can support community businesses contact us

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.


Midcounties Co-operative provides support to co-operatives and community groups in their trading area.

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–>

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The Hive, a business support programme for co-ops and community businesses. The Hive offers online support, group advice, skills training sessions, one-to-one advice, peer mentoring.


Who we work with

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.


Blog Posts

Feeding our Community

Last week Co-operative Futures, along with iSE and Smethwick CAN, hosted an open workshop to talk about food within our local communities.

‘Feeding our Community’ was a great evening, with lots of lively discussion about activities that are already happening across West Birmingham and Smethwick, as well as hopes for the future. It was an opportunity for people to meet, share aspirations, and plan how we might work together to realise some of the ideas that were presented on the night.

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Kathy Hopkin Joins Co-operative Futures and the USE-IT! Programme

Co-operative Futures are pleased to welcome Kathy Hopkin to the organisation, and to the USE IT! Programme. USE IT! is an exciting and innovative programme to create a new ‘place-based’ community of social entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals who want effect positive change in their local neighbourhoods. Kathy is joining the programme as Social Enterprise Advisor, and will be responsible for providing support to existing and start-up community businesses in the area, as well as enabling local residents to access work experience placements within existing social enterprises.

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What we do

Starting up

Starting up

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.

Community shares

Community shares

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.

Business Plans

Business Plans

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.


Founded in 2000 Co-operative Futures was set up to provide direct advice and support services to co-operative and community owned enterprises and to engage in debates to find mutual solutions for challenges being faced by communities.

We are 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

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