Co-operative Futures is a not for profit co-operative development agency, founded in 1999.
How we started
Creating the company was the brainchild of the Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-operative Society, known for short as OSG.
OSG, in common with many other co-operative supermarkets, often received requests from people and community groups looking for advice and support about how to set up, run and sometimes rescue either actual co-operatives or other forms of democratically run and community owned enterprises.
OSG recognised and wished to honour its responsibilities as a co-operative (see www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html), which included responding fully and constructively to the enquiries from co-operatives and community owned enterprises.
As OSG had its own business to run and as there was no co-operative development agency able to handle the enquiries in OSG’s area, it joined with other local partners to create Co-operative Futures.
Subsequently OSG merged with the West Midlands Co-operative Society to form Midcounties Co-operative Limited, www.midcounties.coop which continues to work closely with and invest in Co-operative Futures and the services it provides. Our immediate working area has of course expanded beyond the old OSG area to reflect Midcounties’ own trading area and beyond.
How we’ve grown
Our membership has grown to number over 50 co-operative and community owned enterprises, including members as diverse as the Co-operative Group and Refurbiz down in Devizes.
Our members own us, elect our board and decide where and in what ways we can most effectively employ our people and apply our resources in pursuit of our objects.
For a full list and details of our members, please refer to our membership page.