Co-operative and Mutual Solutions breakthrough

North West
Consultants: 1
7, Cecil Street
FY8 5NN Lancashire
United Kingdom
07967 815321
Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Limited is a worker co-operative with 3 employee directors. We provide a range of business support, consultancy and training to co-operatives, social enterprises and charities. CMS has been trading for 13 years (founded 2002), CMS has provided investment readiness advice to many co-operatives and social enterprises and has advised on over 40 community share issues. This has included advice on business strategy, business planning, finance raising, developing management systems, legal and governance structures, HR, systems and processes. CMS's particular specialism is working with groups of people to ensure that they have the community capacity/capabilities, appropriate legal and governance framework, and systems in place to raise equity/loans for a community asset purchase (often as a going concern) or transfer.

CMS assists social enterprises, co-operatives and charities with the following investment readiness advice:
We are a nationally recognised expert in legal forms for social enterprises. We offer expert advice in the full range of legal forms: companies (CLG, CLS, CICs), Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies, charities and limited liability partnerships. We are experienced in working with new and trading VCSEs on governance design, enabling stakeholders to understand and use the systems and processes to run their VCSE effectively. We can assist VCSEs with reviewing and amending their legal and governance structures over time.
CMS assists VCSEs with their business and financial planning. We bring extensive experience in business planning in particular an understanding of how to use commercial management practices to deliver social outcomes or better public services in a value based environment. We concentrate on business planning (as a process) rather than the preparation of a business plan. We support clients through strategic thinking, increasing their skills, and leaving them with tools to continue after we have gone.
CMS assists VCSEs to raise finance. This often includes a mix of grants, loans and equity finance. We are expert in the use of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Society form which allows communities to raise money through community share issues. CMS has advised over 40 successful community share issues, more than 90% raising £500k or less. CMS was a member of the Expert Reference Group for the community shares project (DCLG, 2009-12) and is a delivery partner in Community Shares Scotland.