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Mediation is a process by which a neutral person assists individuals and/or groups and/or organisations who are in dispute to find a mutually agreed, positive outcome.
Co-operatives and Social Enterprises are full of people who are passionate about social mission, good governance and ethical behaviour. Their disagreements tend to be different in nature and level of intensity to those in other environments where money or status are often the predominant issues. We understand that. We have specialists with decades of experience of governance troubleshooting and practical skills development in dozens of co-ops and social enterprises. We have actually been providing specialist mediation services to clients in the co-operative sector for some time and are now adding this to the range of services on offer on our website.
The service we provide has been continuously improved over many iterations to:
There is much more information about the CAN Mediation Service here.
Internal disputes can bring down the most well-meaning organisations. We want yours to survive and thrive, so if you think we could help, contact us.
Power2Change has announced the opening of the second window for applications to its £10m Community Business Fund. This fund will award grants of between £50,000 – £300,000 to incorporated community businesses in England.
Successful applicants must meet a number of criteria including these four criteria for a community business: to be locally rooted, accountable to the local community, trading for the benefit of the local community and to have broad community impact. If you are involved with such a community business you are strongly advised to investigate further.
We can help in two ways:
1. Help design a project and write an application
2. Provide services to a project to be included in an application.
CAN has been operating a website using content management technology for a little over two years and we would now like to do some research into people's experiences of using it by running a secret shopper programme. Would you like to be a secret shopper?
In particular, we are looking for people who are or can realistically pretend to be past, current or potential customers of any of the following types:
If you are such a person and you have a few minutes to spare, we would be immensely grateful if you were to:
We would like to know:
As a reward, we are prepared to answer for free any question that you add to your report that we would normally charge a consultancy fee to answer.
Thank you so much!
We are very proud to have gained this appointment and to be part of this 3-year, £11m programme.
Social Business Wales is funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. It provides FREE specialist business support to social business looking to grow. It is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre as part of the Business Wales service.
Social Business Wales brings in experts who can help in specific cases, matching clients' needs to the expertise and capacity of consultants, and that's where CAN comes in. We look forward to assisting the development of co-operatives and social businesses of all shapes and sizes in Wales.
See here for more information and to find out if you may be eligible to apply.
It is possible for an applicant to nominate an approved consultant such as CAN to deliver to them but that outcome is not guaranteed. If you would like to nominate CAN, firstly, thank you, and secondly, please contact us before you apply.
We are pleased to announce that we will be delivering one-to-one advice to new and existing co-ops through The Hive – a business support programme by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank.
The Hive’s one-to-one support programme is now open for applications. Please note that the deadline for the first wave is 13 June, and that we expect demand to be high. As such, we encourage applicants to submit the strongest application possible. In particular:
If you're looking to set up or grow a co-op, apply for business advice here.
If you would like CAN to be the provider of this support to you, please choose Co-operative Assistance Network Limited when you apply.
There will be a small charge of £100 (£75 for CUK members).
You can see a short, helpful video here.
CAN is pleased to announce that we are now Preferred Providers to Co-operatives UK for The Hive Business Support Programme that launched on Monday 29 February.
CAN is authorised to provide the following one-to-one advice:
and the following cluster support:
Please see The Hive website for details of how to apply.
Following a recent comprehensive policy review, CAN is pleased to publish its policy set.
We have decided to publish our policies for a number of reasons, including:
Please note, though, they are not designed to be templates or models, they are examples of actual working policies. We do not advocate that you simply copy these policies, either individually or collectively, rather use them as discussion documents for your own policy development. Your co-op is not the same as our co-op.
You can find and download them here.
We can provide consultancy on most areas that these policies cover and would be delighted to work with you on the development of any policy area. If this is of interest, please contact the team leader of the department responsible for the policy in question. The responsible department is identified at the end of each policy document. See our Contacts Page to find the departmental Team Leader. Our prices, terms and conditions are here.
CAN is proud to have provided the content for Social Business Wales – a new website designed to help people set up or run a social business – in partnership with Wales Co-operative Centre. A social business is defined as any social enterprise, co-operative or employee-owned business. Although the website has a focus on Wales it is relevant to the whole of the UK.
Drawing on 26 years experience of helping co-operatives and social enterprises of all shapes and sizes with their financial management and with sourcing investment, Co-operative Assistance Network Limited (CAN) has published a detailed guide to this important topic.
Aimed at new and existing co-operatives and social enterprises in the UK, the 28 page booklet covers:
CUSO-UK was launched recently at a conference of its founder members, including CAN.
This is the first organisation of its kind in the UK, being open to Credit Unions, businesses that supply or want to supply them, Credit Union Development Bodies (such as CAN) and supporters of Credit Union development such as trades unions, local authorities and housing associations.