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New business support programme launched nationwide

The Co-operative Bank has launched a programme nationwide in partnership with Co-operatives UK to support people who are looking to start or grow community enterprises.

The programme, which is called The Hive, will provide a wide range of opportunities, including peer mentoring, training sessions, advice, and one-to-one support.


According to The Co-operative Bank, The Hive is the “first programme of its kind” and will help the “development and growth of the UK's dynamic co-operative and social enterprise sector.” 

The programme will run for three years and is suitable for businesses in any sector. Applications are currently open, but businesses must be at the right stage in their development in order to receive training.

Businesses in the early stages of development will benefit most from the programme. Companies can find out whether or not starting a co-operative is the right route for them and receive advice on funding.


The Co-operative Bank said that it was excited about the launch of The Hive. Chief Executive Niall Booker commented that the programme can guide people through the process of starting a co-operative, provide assistance for those wishing to convert to a co-operative, and help existing co-operatives to grow.

“Last year we underpinned our commitment to supporting co-operative values and ethics in the UK with the launch of our extended Ethical Policy,” he said.

He added that the partnership brings the company’s commitment to life by providing £1.05 million in funding to “provide resources and expertise to helping existing and new co-operatives grow and flourish.”

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