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.