Business advice, support and training for new and existing co-operatives and social enterprises in Leicester, Leicestershire and the East Midlands. Assistance with business planning, choosing the right legal structure and registering your business.
Enterprise support to help you start, develop and grow your business
Making music at Soft Touch Co-operative in Leicester
Open, voluntary membership – co-operatives are open to all people who are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership without gender, social, political or religious discrimination.
Democratic member control – co-operatives are democratic, controlled by members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Any elected representatives are accountable to the membership.
Economic participation – members can decide on the use of surplus of the co-operative – e.g. developing the co-operative, setting up reserves, benefiting members by a bonus in relation to wages, or supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Independence – if co-operatives enter into agreements with other organisations, or raise capital from external sources, they try to do so on terms that ensure their continued democratic control.
Education and training – co-operatives make sure that their members, managers, elected representatives and employees are well trained so that they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives.
Co-operation among co-operatives – many co-operatives like to trade with or work in partnership with other co-ops through local networks, and their regional, national and international structures that make up the co-operative movement.
Community – whilst co-ops focus on their members, many co-operatives maintain a role in their community through policies chosen by members.