Figures released today at the launch of the Co-operative Enterprise Hub in Wales today, show that the number of co-operatives in Wales is now 199. Between them they employ 5,400 people and have a turnover in excess of £900m. Across the UK, the co-operative sector grew by 15.8% to £34bn last year, whilst Britain’s GDP only grew by 4.9%, clearly demonstrrating the dynamism of the co-operative sector.
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub is a £5m support package for co-operatives funded entirely by the Co-operative Group. It is delivered in Wales by a partnership between the Wales Co-op Centre and consultancy.coop The scheme is open to all co-operative businesses, whether starting up or already established.
To apply, go to www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Carl Sergeant said “I welcome this considerable package of support that will develop and strengthen co-operatives .. across Wales… Such support is more important than ever as we look to rebuild our economy and search for fairer, flexible and more sustainable ways of doing business.”
Angela Davies, the Co-operative Hub’s Development Manager said “Following the financial crisis, people have opened their eyes to the co-operative business model to see its merits as a modern, effective and relevant way of doing business. it is no coincidence that co-operating is increasingly being championed as a sustainable solution to the challenges facing the UK economy – the co-operative business model has, without doubt, and exiting part to play in fostering future UK businesses.”