Live Support

The Hive is the UK’s only cross-sectoral programme of support for co-ops and community businesses. From renewables to retail, sports to social care, The Hive can support your organisation with:

  • Online advice to guide you through starting up, growth and conversions
  • Direct support, via one-to-one advice, group advice, peer mentoring and skills training.

Who’s running it?

The Hive is the result of a partnership between Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank. 

The Hive programme is being delivered by Co-operatives UK, the trade body and network for Britain’s thousands of co-operatives. Co-operatives UK works to promote, develop and unite member-owned businesses, which are worth more than £37 billion to the economy.

The Hive is supported by The Co-operative Bank, the only UK high street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy, and co-operative values enshrined in its articles of association. As part of its commitment to supporting co-operatives, The Hive provides resources to help grow new co-ops and community businesses to start-up, existing co-ops to grow, and non co-ops to convert.

What does The Hive provide?

The Hive offers a comprehensive programme of advice and training. See the overview below, or full details here.

Other than the online advice and guidance that this website offers, look out for the orange areas with the helping hand icon, which are situated throughout the site. These indicate, and link to, where direct support (one to one advice, group advice, peer mentoring or skills training) is available.

Online advice and guidance

This website aims to provide guidance to co-operatively run business and organisations at all stages of their journey


Co-operative Skills training

One-day skills-based training sessions, covering in the first year:

  • Effective Meetings and Decision-Making
  • Communication and Working with Conflict
  • Strategic Planning and Change Management
  • The Essential Co-operative Secretary
  • The Essential Co-operative Director
  • The Essential Co-operative Board
  • Sustainable Co-operatives
  • Marketing for Co-operatives

Book here

Group Advice

One-day output-focused advice for a small number of co-operatives at the same time, covering, in the first year:

  • The Co-operative Option 
  • Co-operative start-ups
  • Employee Buyouts
  • Community Shares
  • Membership development

Peer mentoring

(launching April 2016)

Guidance and moral support from people who have been in your shoes and understand the challenges.

One-to-one advice

(launching April 2016)

Up to four days of tailored support, focused on:

  • Becoming a co-operative
  • Employee Buyouts
  • Community Shares
  • Growth and sustainability
  • Strategic planning

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