Co-operatives are a natural fit and key component in bringing about and scaling-up community wealth building strategies. From Cleveland, Ohio – where the Evergreen Cooperatives recently launched a fund to expand employee ownership – to Preston, where work is well underway in forming and expanding co-operative businesses, the co-operative economy represents an important and practical pillar in the wider community wealth building movement.

The Co-operative Party is a strong partner in this agenda: reproduced below is their recent report: ‘6 Steps to Build Community Wealth‘.

6 Steps to Build Community Wealth

Below are some of the key reports and resources relating to co-operatives: from expanding the sector nationally, to bringing about employee ownership at the firm level.

Co-operatives Unleashed: Doubling the size of the UK’s co-operative sector – New Economics Foundation

The Hive – Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative Bank

‘The Hive’ is the support programme jointly run by Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative Bank. It provides case studies, resources, and support and mentoring – to both existing co-operatives, and groups looking to set up new co-operatives.

Developing Co-ops: Do it ourselves – Co-operatives UK

One day most businesses will be run in a participative way, giving a say to those involved.

The best of these will be the foundations for a different kind of economy, one in tune with our values.

These will be co-operatives. And this is how it starts.

Do it ourselves: National Co-operative development strategy technical report – Co-operatives UK

Cooperative activity in Preston – University of Central Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire is one of the key anchor institutions which have been involved in pushing the Community Wealth Building work being undertaken by the Labour-led Preston City Council. This piece presents and takes stock of some of the work taking place surrounding the setting up of co-operatives in Preston.

The Preston Co-operative Development Network strategy document – Co-operative councils

As well as promoting co-operative businesses, the PCDN provides a forum for the development of local democracy, community and citizenship.

The cooperative economy 2019 – Co-operatives UK

Co-operatives UK publish an annual report looking at the state of the co-operative sector in the UK – looking at turnover, membership, and employment figures in co-operative businesses across the UK.

Co-operatives UK Open Data – Co-operatives UK

Further information on the UK co-operative sector can be found by accessing Co-Operatives UK’s Open Data hub.

Trade union and co-operative solutions for self-employed workers – Co-operatives UK

The report calls for the cousins of the labour movement – co-operatives, trade unions and mutual organisations – once again to come together and help form cohesive institutions to unite the self-employed precariat, as illustrated in the model of a ‘solidarity economy’ partnership.

Trade union and co-operative innovations for precarious workers – Co-operatives UK

Drawing on new research and including a close partnership with trade unions in the UK and liaison with practitioners abroad through the cooperative network CICOPA, this report identifies the eight most positive innovations in terms of technology, co-operation and self-organisation by workers in the UK.

Employee buyouts – Co-operatives UK

Information and guidance pertaining to employee buyouts can be found by following the above link.

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