Co-op development agency granted half a million pounds

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Coventry & Warwickshire Co-operative Development Agency has been granted over half a million pounds to carry on its support for co-operatives and other social enterprises across the West Midlands.

The Secretary of State offered a grant of £583,072 from European Regional Development Funds for the Phase 2 of Growing the Social Enterprise Sector in the West Midlands project.

Giving people seeking to start up or expand their social enterprise in the West Midlands access to business advice and guidance.

Tamy Matanky, Coventry and Warwickshire CDA's Strategic and Operations Manager said: "We are grateful for the support and the recognition that demand for social enterprise start up continues to grow. 

“The project supports the wider social enterprise sector, so co-ops can benefit as well as other types of social enterprises."

Under Phase 1 of its project, CWCDA advised over 225 existing social enterprises and helped set up 72 new social enterprises.

“We now look forward to working with our partner’s iSE, Sandwell based Women’s Enterprise development agency (SWEDA), Voluntary and Community Sector Training (VAST), Community First and Shropshire Community Council to continue to grow the social enterprise sector in the West Midlands,“ added Tamy Matanky.

To be eligible, individuals must be resident in the West Midlands and have the right to work in the UK.  Existing social enterprises including co-operatives may also be eligible for support if they are small and medium size enterprises and have not received in excess of €200,000 of de minimis aid in the past 3 years.

The advice received by each social enterprise is customised according to their needs and includes company formation, governance, management, raising finance, environmental good practice and marketing.

Groups of individuals (two or more) seeking to set up co-operatives could also receive support as well as n public, private or voluntary sector employees facing redundancy and seeking to set up a new co-operative.

Existing businesses or other organisations seeking to convert to a co-operative could also be eligible for support.

The advice provided by CWCDA to pre start and existing social enterprises is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, thus it is free at the point of delivery.

To check your eligibility and make an appointment with one of our professional business advisers call 024 7663 3911 or email info@cwcda.co.uk.

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About Anca Voinea

Co-operative News journalist.