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Co-op Bikes a Workers Co-operative Business

Co-op Bikes a Workers Co-operative Business

01 July 2018

Each day we strive to live by the principle of making a difference through co-operation. It’s in our nature to support our community. It’s even in our name!

So when a change in circumstances left some of our members in a tough situation, there was no question that we would help.

Coop Bikes is the prime example of showing what working together can truly achieve. Their intention was to open an affordable bike shop to the local island community, enabling everyone to enjoy cycling and encourage a healthy lifestyle for all ages.

The Society helped to put the wheels in motion for the business; offering support and advice through their initial set up and the testing first year of trading.

It meant that the team of Coop Bikes would be able to concentrate and focus on making the business a success, with the safe assurance that the Society would be on hand to stabilise and help the business steer clear of any bumps in the road that lay ahead.

Shaun Crowther, one of the founding members of Coop Bikes, explains:

“I started talking to the Channel Islands Co-operative Society about how to structure a worker’s co-operative. As well as offering advice on how to set-up a co-operative, they took an interest in our idea and were keen to find ways to offer their help, including providing premises …. I was confident in my knowledge and expertise about bikes, but creating a serious business plan was something else altogether…”

As a result, Coop Bikes is now a true success story. Not only have they recently re-located to a new, larger, purpose built, eco building in order to meet an increasing demand, they are also celebrating their third year anniversary of being a co-operative business.

And they’re still looking for ways to take the business up to the next gear.

Above all, what it has provided for our colleagues at Coop Bikes is the knowledge that their business is very much their own. They all are part of the working cogs of the business and this understanding gives them a sense of ownership and passion for what they do.

It may be one element to have employees that know the business, but to have every member of the team pedalling in the same direction is what gives Coop Bikes a bright future ahead.

And that is what it truly means to be co-operative.