Discover Co-ops

Starting a business? Discover a fairer way of working… 

In the West Midlands and thinking of starting a business? Or looking for a different approach to your existing business or community enterprise? Do you want it to be inclusive, democratic and empowering for everyone involved?

Yes? Then book your place on the FREE Is starting a co-op right for you? workshop on Friday 2 February from 10am to 1pm (with networking until 2pm) at the Change Makers Hub in Wolverhampton – and discover the co-op business model.

Co-operatives West Midlands has teamed up with Co-operative Futures and Co-operatives UK – the national network body for co-ops – to bring the workshop to budding start-ups, community groups and co-op curious people in the West Midlands area.

Why co-ops?

All kinds of businesses and organisations operate as co-ops – pubs, energy suppliers, taxi firms, bookstores, savings and loans, community gardens, wine sellers, farms, sports clubs and much more.

They are run by their members, who can be customers, employees, residents or suppliers – and who have a say in how the co-op is run, making it a fairer, more collaborative‑ and democratic way of doing business.

Co-ops are also resilient as a business model. They are more than twice as likely to survive the early years of trading when compared to other start-up businesses.

What to expect

Join us for this informative, interactive and fun session led by a local co-op expert. Nearby co-operatives will also share their experiences of starting and running a co-op. We’ll be joined by Natalie Standen from York Supplies Community Co-op, who last year launched a successful share offer to buy a local hardware shop for their Kings Heath community in Birmingham. Also joining us is Nick Greenhill from Longbridge based tech developers and workers co-op, Co-operative Web. Two very different businesses with different purposes and structures, at completely different places in their overall business development, but both strongly co-operative.

You’ll be introduced to the co-op business model, gain a more in-depth understanding of co-operatives and learn their purpose and benefits.

You’ll also discover if your business or community business idea suits the co-op model, as well as the next steps for starting one. The workshop will cover:

  • A brief history of co-ops
  • The different kinds of co-ops and which might suit you best
  • What membership means – the benefits of co-ops
  • The strengths of co-ops versus traditional business models
  • Co-op values and principles
  • Co-op facts and figures – how many there are and in which sectors
  • More about the Business Support for Co-ops programme
  • Case studies of successful co-ops in a range of sectors

Completely FREE to attend, this session is part of the Business Support for Co-ops programme, which offers up to six days’ expert support to new and existing co-ops, delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank.

Friday 2 February, from 10am to 1pm (with networking until 2pm) at the Change Makers Hub, Unit 5, Train Station, Railway Drive, Wolverhampton WV1 1LE.

Book your place online here