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.
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