Cooperative and Mutual Services for the Self-Employed

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Via http://www.greatdigitalcompany.co.uk/sep/SEP2.xml#Example93 (w/ full links)

"This section appraises the needs of self-employed workers and examines a wide diversity of co-operative and mutual solutions that have been developed. Most of these forms are owned and run mutually by groups of workers themselves. The French CAE co-operatives for those entering self-employment has spread nationally and has government support. Unlike many other EU countries, the UK law does not yet allow mutual guarantee societies to be formed to provide the self-employed access to lower cost bank loans and other forms of investment. These examples and others are opportunities for development in the UK.


Organisations providing general on-going support for the self-employed

These come in many forms and offer a variety services. Some are aimed at providing all the support needed by the self-employed, from bookkeeping and legal help, through to invoicing and credit control. Some also provide office and/or workshop space. Some specialise in particular trades/activities, some offer support to a broad range of business types. Some are aimed at those starting out, and may in these cases look for funding from Government programmes aimed at getting people into work, whilst others are providing a permanent service and aim to be self sustainable.

  • First Call Supply Teacher : Wales
  • Oren Actors Management Co-op : Wales
  • Phoenix Taxis Ltd : England
  • Evo Driver Training : Isle of Wight
  • Fahrwerk : Berlin, Germany
  • Vive Berlin : Berlin, Germany
  • Smart : Belgium
  • Coopaname : France
  • Bigre : France


Organisations providing start-up support to the self-employed

These come in many forms and offer a variety of services. Some are aimed at providing all the support needed by the self-employed, from bookkeeping and legal help, through to invoicing and credit control. Some also provide office and/or workshop space. Some specialise in particular trades/activities, some offer support to a broad range of business types. These organisations generally look for funding from Government programmes aimed at getting people into work as the level of service they provide is unsustainable from the self-generated funds of start-up businesses.


  • Enterprise Rehearsal Project (ERP) 1997 – 2007 : Wales
  • Cooperatives d’Activités et d’Emploi : France
  • La Maison de l’Initiative (MdI) : France
  • Coopénates : France
  • Artenréel : France
  • Antigone : France


Organisations providing financial services for the self-employed

The main forms of specialised financial services for the self-employed are sickness funds, tax advice, credit unions and Mutual Guarantee Funds, which help the self-employed obtain credit.

  • Bread Fund : Netherlands
  • Radical Routes : United Kingdom
  • Freelancers Union : USA


Organisations providing access to finance for the self-employed

This sub-section looks at how the self-employed can get credit, loans and capital.

  • Specialist Credit Unions : London Taxi Drivers Credit Union : United Kingdom