What is the project?
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub provides free training and advice to new and existing cooperatives - businesses that are owned and run by their members. The services offered by the hub include business planning, financial and legal help. The project is focused on supporting village shops and pubs, which the Co-operative describes as the "beating heart of their communities".
What did it do?
The Co-operative Group has provided £1.9m in finance for the hub, as well as strategy, promotion and administration services. It has also provided expertise and advice in media relations to new cooperatives - this has been particularly important for those offering community shares in their new business.
What did it achieve?
More than 50 community shops and pubs have been assisted by the hub. Of the new businesses supported, 72 per cent went on to start trading and 90 per cent of them are still in business. The Co-operative also secured more than 640 items of media coverage for the businesses that it is helping.
What did the judges say?
Valerie Morton, fundraiser and consultant, said: "The community impact was focused, with good metrics for evaluation."
- Investec Bank
- RWE npower
Award sponsored by The SIB Group