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A Cooperative Inclusive Economy Charter for Stevenage

On 29 January 2020, Stevenage Borough Council unanimously passed a motion in support of Community Wealth Building. The Charter forms a key part of this commitment, helping to bring people and organisations together to create a more cooperative and inclusive economy.

What do we mean by Community Wealth Building?

Community Wealth Building focuses on how much money is held and reinvested in an area for the benefit of local communities. Ways of stopping money leaking out of an area include making contracts accessible to small and medium sized businesses and connecting local people to well paid jobs.

What do we mean by a cooperative inclusive economy?

A cooperative inclusive economy is one that encourages communities, organisations and businesses to work together, helping to shape the economy and to share the benefits of growth.

What are the benefits of a cooperative inclusive economy?

We have identified two key benefits, although we expect more to follow as the Charter develops and new partnerships form.

1. A fairer society, as people become more connected to their economy. This might include:

  • Providing careers advice in schools.
  • Mentoring someone who wants to become self-employed.
  • Offering work placements to people who need extra support.
  • Supporting employers to become disability confident.
  • Shopping locally or volunteering with a community group.

2. A more resilient economy, as people cooperate to create sustainable growth. This might include:

  • Working with communities to break down barriers to training.
  • Purchasing goods or services from others in the local area.
  • Supporting cooperatives to star up and grow.
  • Investing in local charities to provide wellbeing training for your staff.
  • Pooling budgets and involving local people in how they are spent.
  • Working with partners to develop local supply chains.

Who should sign the Charter?

The Charter is for anyone who is committed to improving the lives of Stevenage residents, such as local residents who shop locally, community groups who support volunteers, and businesses who employ local people. The Charter will also help us to monitor recovery since COVID-19 and to see if it is working for everyone.

Making a pledge

We hope that the Charter has inspired you to make a pledge, and to tell us about the great things you are doing to support a cooperative and inclusive economy in Stevenage.

You can make a pledge on the Community Wealth Building page with the Cooperative Inclusive Economy Charter Pledge form.

If you would like more information about the Charter and Community Wealth Building in Stevenage, please email community.development@stevenage.gov.uk

Next steps

To help us towards a fairer society and more resilient economy, the first 100 days saw the following:

  • Summit held to launch the Charter
  • 100 pledges made
  • Community balance sheets piloted*
  • First impact report published
  • Charter inspires 3 new initiatives

*Community balance sheets are an innovative way of capturing social value.