Co-operative Alternatives is the exclusive provider of The HIVE programme in Northern Ireland.
What is The Hive?
The Hive is a UK-wide 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
The Hive is a result of a Partnership between Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative Bank.
Advice and training opportunities with The HIVE
This section outlines all the advice and training opportunities available through The Hive available to people and communities at different stages of setting up or developing their co-operative or social business:
Planning your co-operative
The advice and support available is relevant if you are at the very early stages of planning your co-operative business or organisation.
Suitable for those who want to: Test your business idea and undertake a feasibility study; work out whether starting a co-operative is the route for you; understand the options available for financing your co-operative; undertake business planning.
Setting up your co-operative
The advice and support available is relevant if you have a business plan in place and are ready to set up your co-operative.
Suitable for those who want to: Understand the options for your co-op’s legal structure; learn how to to register a co-op; understand what needs to happen to launch your co-operative after registration and start trading e.g. raising funds from a community share offer.
Growing your co-operative
The advice and support available is relevant if you are already trading and are looking to develop and/or grow your co-operative or community business.
Suitable for those who want to: Assess your business’ growth potential; determine potential areas for growth (e.g. HR, Marketing, Membership…).
Co-operative buyouts and conversions
The advice and support available is relevant if you are looking to convert an existing social enterprise, public service or community asset into co-operative ownership.
Suitable for those who want to: The instances where co-operative conversions might take place; learn more about employee buyouts; learn more about Community buyouts.