Putting co-operation at the heart of economic development
With values and principles at its heart, co‑operative enterprise is the fairest way to do business – democratic organisations with a social purpose, operating in the interests of their members and wider communities, and sharing the dividends of success. Economies characterised by a larger co‑operative sector are more equitable, productive and accountable, with a narrower gap between the rich and poor. Instead of wealth being concentrated in the hands of a small percentage at the top, co‑operative economies have a wider ownership base.

A recent report from the New Economics Foundation found that “co‑operatives and the wider cause of democratising and more evenly spreading the benefits of enterprise are held back due to an absence of legislation and policy, institutional support, advice, incentive and promotion.”

But if changes are to be successful, they need to based on the real-life experiences of the people who have tried to pursue a different course - or would have been willing to do so if it wasn’t for the barriers put in their way. Seema Malhotra MP is the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston and wants to hear from people willing to share their experiences so that this can be used to shape initiatives to double the size of the co-operative economy in London and across the UK.

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