Do you run a business or organisation in or near Islington? Or are you thinking of setting one up?
Do you want the people who work with your organisation to retain as much profit and control as possible?
If so, a co-operative might be for you! Join us for this event to find out more...
A co-operative is a business that is owned and governed by the people who work in it, or who have a direct stake in it. Generally, co-operatives do not have external share holders, so the value created by the business, stays in the business. We would like to see more co-operatives thrive in Islington, so we are organising an event to support and inform local people.
If you're not in Islington but you're interested in the issues, feel free to come along anyway.
We will have some short presentations by experts and practitioners, followed by an opportunity for you to ask them specific questions, and to share your knowledge with the rest of the group. We will be joined by:
Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council
Cllr Shaikh is Executive Member for Economic Development in Islington. She will speak generally about how the council would like to promote coops as an alternative business ownership model. This is relevant within the context of the council wanting to develop a more inclusive economy which works for all residents. Islington would like to encourage more democratic forms of economic activity that sees local people have meaningful participation and control over their lives.
John Atherton, Co-Ops UK
John is head of membership at Co-Ops UK, the network body for Britain's co-ops which works to promote, develop and unite member-owned businesses. John will provide a high-level overview of the coop economy, putting this into a global context.
Siôn Whellens is Client Services Director at the design and printing coop Calverts, and a coop adviser/mentor with Principle Six partnership. He works mainly with worker, community and consortium coops, and groups planning to start up new coops.
Siôn will focus on the difference between coops and other businesses; converting existing businesses into coops; and how local enterprises can come together to meet their shared commercial and community needs, using cooperative values and organising principles.
Kayleigh is a project Manager and Community Developer for Islington-based digital design co-operative Outlandish. Kayleigh also helps to co-ordinate CoTech, a network of more than 30 co-ops in the technology sector, who focus on the worker, customer and end-user needs, rather than on generating private profit. She is also a member of the Co-operatives UK Worker Co-op Council, which shapes strategic priorities for worker co-ops, and acts as a sounding board on important issues.
Kayleigh will discuss the process of setting up a co-operative and what some of the joys and challenges are.