A scheme to help more people set up co-operatives has delivered nearly 2,500 days-worth of advice since being set up, a report said today.
The Co-operative Group’s Enterprise Hub annual report states it has helped 686 mutuals since being established as a pilot scheme in Manchester in 2009.
The report, called The New Pioneers, says co-operative business models are no longer viewed as a “business backwater,” with more and more people considering them as a way to operate, in response to the challenging economic climate.
The Enterprise Hub offers free advice, training and consultancy to new and existing co-operatives – where risk and reward is shared between members.
It has also noticed an increase in the number of mutuals forming in sectors, such as arts and media, sport, housing, education and training, retail and care.
Backed by £15m of investment from the Co-op, it was piloted in Manchester in 2009, then rolled out to support mutuals across the UK last year.