Co-operatives

Co-Operatives Sunderland

Working on behalf of the Co-operative Group, we offer a special package of advice and support for organisations that are thinking of setting up on a co-operative basis. Known as the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, this is a multi million pound support programme for co-operatives across the UK. The Hub promotes the co-operative business model and enables budding entrepreneurs to access appropriate advice, training and finance. It encourages new starts and supports the growth of existing co-operatives. SES is the lead body for the North East Co-operative Development Consortium, administering the fund and undertaking the assessment of all applications. The assessment can result in up to four days of consultancy being recommended. The latter is as flexible as possible to meet the client’s needs, but may include legal structures, business planning, funding (bid writing, etc.), marketing or diversification of services. The consultancy may then lead to a loan application to the Co-operative Loan Fund.

You can find out more about the support available through the Co-operative Enterprise Hub

Financial Planning

Inadequate financial planning can lead to cash flow problems, financial losses and eventual insolvency. Sound financial planning is therefore vital to the success of your business. We can offer you practical support or training in developing and maintaining financial accounts. This will ensure that you have the ability and confidence to use these in the workplace. Our support covers the use of cash flow forecasts, income and expenditure forecasts, balance sheet forecasts and forecast funding statements.

Business Planning

Your business plan is the blueprint for the future success and development of your enterprise. An effective business plan needs to cover a number of subjects including: Strategy, Management, Staffing, Operations, Marketing, Finance, and Products and Services. It also needs to be output oriented so that performance can be monitored. We can support you in developing and implementing a business plan, helping you reach your business goals.

Marketing

Ensuring that your operations are relevant to the needs of your clients, customers and beneficiaries is vital to long-term success. Effective marketing is not just about promoting and selling your services, it is about identifying, anticipating and satisfying the requirements of those you serve. We can produce plans covering the key factors that your business needs to take into account, and support you in successfully executing a marketing campaign.

Corporate Governance

As a director or manager of an enterprise you need to be confident that you are aware of your statutory and regulatory duties. Non-conformance with your obligations is a serious matter that can lead to a damaged reputation, lost customers or even legal action. We are able to evaluate your current systems and provide you with a set of recommendations that will ensure good governance.

Policies and Procedures

You need to be confident that the operation and service delivery of your enterprise is as you would expect. Well written procedures coupled with a means of ensuring that they are being followed is the most appropriate way of ensuring this. We are able to assess your current systems and advise you on policies and procedures that will provide a clear and concise direction for your enterprise, and that will provide clarity on the roles and responsibilities of your employees.

Project Development

If you are to deliver your project successfully or to develop new ones, you will need a project plan. This plan needs to take into account the nature of your organisation, the resources and arrangements required in delivery, timescales and how best to satisfy your funder’s requirements. We can help you set up a new enterprise, launch a new service or move into new markets. We will work with you to plan projects effectively and help you turn those plans into reality.

Project Management

You may require help to either re-organise or set up a project management team or even to outsource its day-to-day operational management. We are able to work with you to create an effective project management system, which works efficiently with your organisation���s resources, budget and timeframes to help your project to meet its goals.

Investment Applications

You need to be sure that your applications for investment are well written and meet the requirements of your funder. It is impossible to be successful every time, but your chances improve considerably if you can draw on the experience of successful bid writers. We are able to support you in writing investment applications, ensuring that key points are included to match the priorities of the investors, thereby giving you the best chance of success.