In addition to providing our services on a fee charging basis, Co-op Culture are approved providers on a number of free or subsidised co-operative and community business support programmes. It is usually possible for you to specify Co-op Culture as your preferred provider or mention us in your application. If you would like us to help you through these funded programmes please contact us so we can help ensure you are ready to apply and that we will be able to provide the support you need.
Business Support for Co-ops
We are providers to the Business Support for Co-ops programme for new and existing co‑ops – helping fair and ethical businesses together. This is the continuation of a partnership between Co‑operatives UK and The Co‑operative Bank.
Formerly known as The Hive, the support package has been given a brand refresh and is now known as Business Support for Co‑ops. It continues to help build better co‑operative businesses by offering up to six days of expert support, including a half day peer mentoring, to:
- Start a co‑op
- Help for your co‑op for existing co-ops
- Convert to a co‑op for existing businesses looking to convert to a co-op
Worker coop start up support
We are members of the UK worker co-op federation and involved in delivering some of the learning activities.
The Booster Fund supports new and existing community businesses in England that are at all stages of a community share issue. This includes the very early stages of exploring whether it’s the right choice, through planning a community share issue to being ready to launch, or in exceptional cases, recently launched.
What funding is available?
- Pre-grant support: A few days support for early-stage activity to get you started.
- Development grants: Support of value between £2,000 and £10,000 of support, averaging around £5,000, to prepare a community share offer. This support can cover financial planning, governance support, marketing costs and being assessed for the Community Shares Standard Mark.
- Equity match investment: Booster investments could range from £10,000 to £100,000, although the typical investment is expected to be £20,000-£50,000. This is an offer of investment to match money raised from the community, providing the minimum share offer target is achieved. Applications for equity match are open to community businesses that are investment ready, including those that have already launched their share offers.
- Subscription underwriting: If you think affordability is an issue for your community investors, Booster’s partner Co-operative and Community Finance (CCF) can offer you an interest-free repayable loan to enable people to buy shares through instalments over a maximum of 12 months, with the society receiving the full investment upfront.
- Loan finance: Through a Booster Fund application, they can also help you access loan finance from their partner CCF.