Management consultancy for mutuals

Consultancy services for established co-operatives and mutuals

As globalisation increases the scrutiny of investor-owned business, co-operatives and mutuals have an opportunity to benefit, as long as they are able to communicate the value of their unique business purpose and member-owned status.

Yet, as they grow and change, the original ownership and governance arrangements in co-operatives and mutuals can often diverge from the current needs of the business.

Co-operatives and mutuals must demonstrate that:

  • They are distinguished in the marketplace through a clear co-operative and mutual purpose that can secure a competitive advantage against investor-owned rivals
  • The interests of key groups of people – particularly customers and employees – are appropriately represented to ensure that the business obtains the maximum benefit from their engagement
  • The representative governance structures are modern and effective, resulting in imaginative and forward-looking decisions, rather than an obstruction to innovation and progress

Consultancy services to establish new Mutuals

Mutuo has 15 years’ experience of establishing new co-operative and mutual businesses. As a result, more than 2 million people have become members, for the first time having a voice in their co-operative or mutual.

By creating co-operatives and mutuals in new business sectors, Mutuo has been able to demonstrate to policymakers that member-owned firms can be part of a growing and dynamic business world.

Much of the impetus for this work has been fuelled by a growing political appetite for public sector reform. The new co-operatives and mutuals range from start-ups to spin-outs from the public sector, and conversions of existing businesses into a co-operative and mutual form.

New start-ups include a pre-school children’s centre which empowers staff and parents, and the UK’s first Youth Mutual, which has pioneered the idea of young people taking a leading role in governing their own organisation.

Spin-outs from the public sector include a wide range of new independent organisations, at arm’s length from the state, but committed to public benefit. Sectors include hospitals and other health services, social housing, leisure services, and co-operative schools.

Conversions of commercial businesses have emerged as leaders of significant established enterprises begin to question traditional styles of ownership. Mutuo has worked with a global media brand, the UK Post Office and agricultural producers.