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.
Space4 is a co-working space for social enterprises and worker co-operatives in the digital tech sector.
YnNi Teg develops and builds renewable energy generators in Wales, funded by community shares.
North West Mutual
Community bank will help local businesses and individuals neglected by mainstream banks.
Schools’ Energy Co-operative
Schools’ Energy Co-operative has installed solar panels on schools across the country, working with a network of local groups.
South West Mutual
South West Mutual is a member-owned, high-street bank dedicated to residents and small businesses.
This workers' co-operative connects local growers with businesses in the fightback against food poverty.
Robert Owen Community Banking
Ethical fund provides finance for small businesses, home improvements and community energy projects.
Suma, Europe’s largest equal-pay co-op, recently celebrated its 40th birthday.
Friendly Families nursery
This brand new nursery provides affordable, child-centered care co-produced by parents and staff.
Parents collaborate with skilled staff to provide high-quality affordable care at this well-established nursery.