Business Support for Co‑ops

Supporting fair and ethical business, with Co‑operatives UK

We're proud to work in partnership with Co-operatives UK to offer our Business Support for Co-ops programme — helping to start and grow co-operative businesses.

Co-operatives: businesses that are run by their members

Co-operatives, also known as co-ops, can be all kinds of different businesses, but have one key thing in common — they’re all owned and controlled by their members. People come together to influence the things they care about, around the issues and places that matter most to them.

From large retailers and small enterprises, to innovative start-ups and community-based initiatives, you can set up any new business as a co-operative business entity. The options are endless; you could open a co-operative bakery, a retailer, or even a service-based business like a design agency.

The co-operative story that keeps on giving

Co-operatives are worth around £40 billion to the UK economy each year. Members of a co-operative may choose to reinvest its profits into the business or share the profits with its members: the workers, its customers, or the wider community.

Co-operatives in the UK are also very resilient in challenging economic conditions — for example, they were five times less likely to stop trading in 2021, compared to businesses generally. Worker-owned co‑operatives also tend to create more jobs than other forms of business entities.

The evidence of their contribution to a stronger, fairer, and more ethical economy is compelling.

Get the help you need with Business Support for Co-ops

If you’re curious about setting up a new business as a co-operative, keen to grow your existing co‑operative, or looking to convert to one, Business Support for Co‑ops might be for you.

From tailored support to mentoring across HR, marketing, finance and governance, to digital tools and events, our programme in partnership with Co‑operatives UK offers a wide range of easy-to-access services.

See what help is available with Business Support for Co-ops

Our commitment to co-operative values and ethics

We were born out of the co-operative movement over 150 years ago, and those values on which we were built still stand today. We haven't just developed an ethical approach, we've had one from the very start.

Since 2016, we’ve committed £2.5 million to support co-operatives nationally. And we’re proud to be delivering this through our partnership with Co-operatives UK, the voice for the UK’s thousands of independent co-operatives.

We believe that by acting together — and by acting co‑operatively — we can all have a significant impact in the areas people often feel powerless to influence.

That's why just like a co-operative, our customers have a say in how we do business. As the only UK high-street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy, we often ask our customers to tell us about the things that matter to them and want us to take action on, including actively seeking to nurture and support the co-operative sector.

Find out more about how we’re committed to co-operative values and ethics.

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