Policy News – Co-operative and Mutual Economy 2023 Report: Driving Positive Change

Co-operatives UK recently published the Co-operative and Mutual Economy 2023 report. The report provides valuable insights into the democratic economy and its impact on society.

Key Findings:

The report highlights that the UK’s democratic economy is thriving, with 9,113 businesses operating in this sector and a combined annual income of £87.9 billion. These co-operatives and mutuals prioritize social good, share power as well as wealth, and reinvest in the communities they serve.

From the perspective of Co-operative Alternatives, the findings of the report are highly significant. The Co-operative and Mutual Economy 2023 report reinforces the importance of co-operatives in addressing societal challenges such as unaffordable housing, economic inequality and environmental sustainability. With democratic ownership, co-operatives build more resilient communities and empower individuals to take control of their economic future.

The findings of the Co-operative and Mutual Economy 2023 report provide a strong foundation for future advocacy and policy, in particular for co-operative development bodies as an essential part of the growth of the co-operative sector in Northern Ireland.

In the report, it is evident (page 15) that regions in which government financial support is devoted to specialist co-operative knowledge and expertise, development of co-operatives is accelerated. According to the report, Wales and Scotland, where they have designated programmes for co-operative development supported by Government Departments, the number of co-operatives start-ups are higher than other regions – respectively 5.5. and 5.3 start up co-ops per million population.

Northern Ireland, according to this report, have supported only 3.7 start-up per million and this is probably due to the lack of central government resources for co-operative support programmes and a very fragmented situation at local level: up to now only the Belfast City Council has committed resources to co-op development in NI.

To access the Co-operative and Mutual Economy 2023 report, please use this link

co-operative-democratic-economy-2023-web_0.pdf (uk.coop).