Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Community Shares Handbook will help advisers to champion the community shares approach

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The Community Shares Unit ran a series of free workshops in November to showcase the forthcoming Community Shares Handbook. Jan Barwell, Development Officer on the Wales Co-operative Centre’s Social Enterprise Support project, went along to find out more…

“The Community Shares Handbook is one of several tools and resources that helps advisers to champion the community shares approach and disseminate best practice. I attended the Bristol workshop on the 26th Nov 2013 at Triodos Bank, which covered key areas of guidance which will be included in the handbook. These include legal form, share typology, offer documents and financial returns, along with other topics. Advisers contributed their opinions and experience allowing the CSU to capture this knowledge so they can ensure that theory meets practice!

The Community Shares Unit is a dedicated support service for those interested in and involved with community share offers. Delivered by Co-operatives UK and Locality and backed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, they have developed a website as a valuable resource for anyone interested in community shares.  It offers advice pages for;

  • community enterprises considering or developing share offers
  • supporters who are interested in purchasing shares
  • advisers who provide support and assistance to enterprises considering and developing share offers

The website includes;

  • information on the activities and the team involved with the Community Shares Unit
  • Microgenius, their new online tool to help societies co-ordinate share offers on the web

CSU works with partners to develop standards of good practice, encourage policy reforms and raise awareness to support the growth of community shares. It acts a central reference point for market intelligence, providing the latest information on community share activities nationwide, as well as producing regularly-updated guidance materials. The unit also operates as a dynamic hub for support, building relationships with networks and organisations to signpost communities, investors and other interested parties to the most appropriate forms of advice and assistance to develop new share offers and support existing ones. Finally, it acts as a strong platform for profiling the community share model, raising awareness of the value of the approach to new entrants and facilitating peer support and networking to those already involved in community shares.”

For further information visit


Written by Catherine Evans

December 3, 2013 at 10:04 am

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