Thursday, 19 March 2020

Links and resources for co-ops and social enterprises dealing with Covid-19

Spark have launched Corona Helpers, a free online platform on which individuals can pledge their support, and organisations and groups can let people know what they are doing and how to get involved.

Co-operatives UK have an excellent page of resources: Government support for business - advice for co-ops. In particular, there is some extra support and advice available from the Hive Support Package.

We're also very grateful to the School for Social Entrepreneurs for preparing this useful list:

Key links

Most useful resources we’ve found so far
Continuing to support your clients, beneficiaries and vulnerable people you work with
Human resources and Business planning
  • Co-operatives UK have put together a guide on HR issues answering questions such as 'how do we treat employees who follow guidance to self isolate?' and 'what about parents who are off work because their child's school has closed?'.
  • This Federation for Small Business (FSB) guide is helpful. It’s aimed at small businesses but the advice is also relevant to small charities, social enterprises, community businesses and impact organisations.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Covid-19 - if ever there was a time for mutual aid...

Our team, like everyone else, is reacting day by day to the advice we're getting on how to limit impact of Covid-19. We're going to do our best to keep helping people, using videoconferencing and remote working most of the time (sorry, our office at 10 East Reach is closed until further notice) - but we're also supporting this great initiative for mutual aid groups across the UK. As this develops we'll try to provide more updates with a more local focus, but this article gives a good introduction to the big idea:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/coronavirus-campaign-launched-offering-help-to-those-self-isolating

Co-operatives that could beat the climate crisis

Everyone is asking the same question: ‘I understand that it’s a climate emergency, but what can I actually do? Surely it is big businesses that need to change - because it's too big a problem for anyone else’.
It’s a fair question – heaping shame and expectation on hard-pressed individuals is both pointless and uncaring – but don't give up on your own power just yet.
Surprising as it may seem, social enterprises – and especially those with democratic, co-operative forms of management – have many advantages. They can raise investment on clean balance sheets; use social and environmental accounting to check that their business model is futureproof; and introduce new technology and infrastructure to communities that trust them.
We've produced a briefing introducing some of the ideas that could be replicated in communities across the South West. Download and spread it around...