Preston is supporting socially aware businesses by becoming a co-operative friendly city.
Councillor Matthew Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Inclusion believes that:
" Co-operatives are a great way to promote economic inclusion and grow successful businesses".
The Hive is a new business support programme from Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank, for people wanting to start or grow co-operative or community enterprises. There is a mix of online resources, advice and training to help you build a better co-operative business.
Co-operatives UK is the national trade body that campaigns for co-operation and works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises. It is a good source of information for those who want to understand what a co-operative is, assess how it might meet the needs of their business idea and identify the issues to be covered in any business plan.
The website also contains lots of useful information on establishing a co-operative, finance, business planning and other support.
They have also produced a downloadable guideand a document which provides all you need to know about legal forms and organisational types for community enterprises.
Individuals claiming Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) and looking to establish a co-operative are entitled to the same levels of support as those wishing to start any new business. This includes the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) which is available to JSA claimants aged 18 and over whom have been claiming for 26 weeks or more.
Participants have access to a volunteer business mentor who will provide guidance and support as they develop their business plan and through the early months of trading. Once a claimant can demonstrate they have a viable business proposition with the potential for growth in the future, they will be able to access financial support.
Co-operatives or members of the Preston Cooperative Development Network could get 25% discount off workshops from Stir to Action. They publish STIR, a quarterly magazine on the new economy, run workshop programmes, and support community economic development. If you are interested in attending a workshop please download the or contact Emma Fancett, Marketing, email@example.com