Headlines: August 15th, 2012

Co-operatives UK has launched an online support service for Third Sector and charitable organisations. It offers professional legal and governance advice and guidance to new start and established third sector organisations.

The new website will be able to provide more help and support to organisations across the board – from small social enterprises who are just starting out to existing businesses looking to expand or established charities in need of affordable advice. A ‘set fee service’ will offer bespoke legal support and deals with all regulatory bodies at a guaranteed price, with no hidden costs.

Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members, whether they are customers, employees, residents or small businesses. They give members an equal say and share of the profits. Co-operatives work in all parts of the economy, from food to funerals, healthcare to housing.

Examples of co-operatives include the Positive Youth Foundation which provides opportunities for young people to reach their full potential and the Oxfordshire Family Support Network which provides independent information, advice and support by families for families of people with learning disabilities.

Co-operatives in the UK together turnover £35.6 billion and have outperformed the wider UK economy for four consecutive years, growing by 19.5 per cent since 2008, whilst the UK economy has shrunk by 1.7 per cent. There are over 5,900 independent co-operative businesses in the UK and, with 13.5 million memberships, they are owned by one in four of the population.