Solutions

Create new sources of finance for co-ops

Create new sources of finance for co-ops

Create financial instruments and institutions tailored to the needs of the co-operative economy.

Co-operatives need patient forms of capital without requiring control rights in exchange if they are to continue to employ capital in pursuit of enterprise, rather than capital dictating and distorting their purpose. 

Such an ecosystem can be developed by:

  • Establishing a National Investment Bank
    The National Investment Bank would have a mandate to supply patient risk capital specifically to the co-operative, mutual and social enterprise sector. It would focus on scaling already medium to large co-ops, financing substantial worker buyouts, and financing the co-operatisation of existing public assets.
  • Developing a new model for co-operative financing
    A new model for financing would allow the provision of non-member investment, providing capital in return for a limited return but no participation rights.
  • Creating mutual guarantee societies
    Mutual guarantee societies are private guarantee institutions created by small and medium sized businesses who benefit from mutual loan guarantees and better access to finance.
  • Introducing tax relief on profits reinvested in asset-locked indivisible reserves and paid into a co-op development fund
    Tax relief would incentivise common wealth creation and support new and growing co-operatives.
  • Introducing a co-operative enterprise grant
    The enterprise grant would offer people facing unemployment or receiving in-work benefits the opportunity to start a co-operatively run business.

Policy in practice

Projects that demonstrate the benefits or may be helped by polices like this.

  • Grasshoppers In The Park
    Parents and staff work together to provide high-quality, affordable childcare at this co-operative nursery.
  • Equal Care Co-op
    Co-op matches those seeking care with care workers and professionally trained volunteers.
  • The Larder
    This workers' co-operative connects local growers with businesses in the fightback against food poverty.
  • Schools’ Energy Co-operative
    Schools’ Energy Co-operative has installed solar panels on schools across the country, working with a network of local groups.
  • Scallywags nursery
    Parents collaborate with skilled staff to provide high-quality affordable care at this well-established nursery.
  • Suma Wholefoods
    Suma, Europe’s largest equal-pay co-op, recently celebrated its 40th birthday.
  • People’s Bank
    Planned regional, mutually-owned bank aims to boost the economy of the north-east of England.
  • South West Mutual
    South West Mutual is a member-owned, high-street bank dedicated to residents and small businesses.
  • Space4
    Space4 is a co-working space for social enterprises and worker co-operatives in the digital tech sector.
  • North West Mutual
    Community bank will help local businesses and individuals neglected by mainstream banks.