The Power of Community Ownership

In Oxfordshire and thinking of starting a community business? This workshop will explore if starting a co-operative is right for you. We will introduce the co‑op business model, with a particular focus on community ownership of rural assets.
It’s FREE and open to all in Oxfordshire, especially groups who are:
  • Considering taking ownership of a rural asset such as a village shop or community building
  • Working to create new services or facilities in their town or village, where there might be a lack of provision
  • Interested in taking on and converting an existing business that might be at risk through retirement or closure

What to expect

Co-operative Futures has teamed up with Co-operatives UK to offer this session. The workshop will be led by Co‑operative Futures’ Alice Hemming and it will give you an in‑depth understanding of co‑operatives, as a resilient and purpose-driven business model, run democratically.
We will cover:
  • Different kinds of co-ops, legal forms and how to register
  • What membership means and benefits of being a co-op
  • Community ownership and management of rural assets
  • Support, funding & resources for your business start-up

We will have presenters from two Oxfordshire based co-operatives who will share their experiences of setting up a community business and why being a co-op is important to them:

  • Jo Harvey from Sustainable Wantage: Having been a community benefit society for over a decade, they play a key role in their community, offering a food larder, refill shop, repair café, market garden and many other environmental projects out of their thriving community space called The Mix.
  • Vivian Woodell from West Oxfordshire Community Transport: Set up as a community benefit society in response to poor transport connectivity, WOCT now run 6 popular bus routes across the district. Vivian is a seasoned co-operative business expert, having also founded the Phone Co-op and co-operative housing projects.
Delicious vegan food from local family catering start-up Planted Plates also provided! 

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.

Wednesday 14th February, from 5.30pm to 8pm The Junction, 42 Lydalls Road, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7HX.

Book your place online here