The current policy interest in mutuals presents a significant opportunity to develop and extend the sector in a range of business and public service areas.
As government accelerates the process of public sector reform, there are likely to be many new stakeholder led mutuals established over the coming months and years. At the same time, there remains a need for a greater understanding of how mutuals work, and where they can be appropriately applied. New entrants to the sector need to learn from the experience of others and to construct their new mutual with care.
Since 2000, Mutuo has led the policy debate about mutuals and has been closely involved in the development of many types of new mutuals. It intends to maintain this leadership position. The Made Mutual series of Mutuo publications is designed to contribute to the ongoing debate in a practical way by drawing on the experience of experts and practitioners who have already faced the challenges of running mutual organisations. The series will also address key
issues particular to mutual businesses, starting with this contribution, looking at finance.
This publication is the first in a number of pamphlets that will address the issue of capital in mutuals. Mutuals do not have investor capital and instead rely on retained profits from their trading activities to finance investment. Much work is currently being undertaken to consider new types of capital instruments to provide investment finance for mutuals without distorting the true purpose of the mutual. This pamphlet is a contribution to that work.