The Hive: Empowering co-operatives to make a difference

A partnership built on co-operation

The Hive is a programme of support for new and existing co-operatives, created by Co-operatives UK, in partnership with The Co-operative Bank. Together, we're giving like-minded people, innovators and groups the support they need to succeed.

The transformative power of co-operatives

Today nearly one in five of the UK population are members of a co-operative*, this continued success and growth of the co-operative sector comes as no surprise.

Owned and controlled by their members, co-operative businesses are run for the mutual benefit of those members – in other words, everyone benefits in a co-operative.

The co-operative story keeps on growing

They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes too; from large retailers to small enterprises, from innovative start-ups to community-based initiatives.

What unites them all is the fact they’re formed by groups of people coming together to influence the things they care about – around the places and issues that matter to them, such as their workplace, the community centre or sports club.

So, just for example whether it’s a group of residents coming together keep their local community shop open, or workers and users organising to deliver social care services, The Hive can provide expert advice on everything from HR to business planning and can also put them in touch with others that have been through the same thing. It’s an invaluable resource that can offer a helping hand, guidance or a supportive ear, whenever it’s needed.

One way communities across the UK have been able to safeguard valuable businesses and create new ones is through crowdfunding using ‘community share offers’. This brings the community together through a unique form of local investment. From pubs to piers and shops to skate parks, community share offers have raised £111.4 million since 2017*, money that is retained in those communities and helps generate additional local wealth.

We share the same co-operative values

As The Co-operative Bank we are proud to be founded on co-operative values. We believe that when people work together, good things can happen.

And just like a co-operative, our customers have a say in how we do business. In fact, our customer-led Ethical Policy outlines our commitment to nurture and support the co-operative sector, that’s why we’ve committed £1.7 million to support The Hive. This unique business support programme created by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, gives co-operative businesses from all sectors of the economy access to the expert advice and guidance they need to thrive.

Powered by The Co-operative Bank

Through The Hive, The Co-operative Bank is helping build a successful and resilient co-operative economy. And we’re committed to making a positive difference to the lives of our customers, and the communities they live and work in.

*Source: Co-op Economy Report 2021 | Co-operatives UK

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