Co-operatives beyond the Yorkshire and Humber Region

Co-operative enterprise is a major force for sustainable economic and social development not just in Yorkshire and the Humber, but across the UK and throughout the world. Nationally, Co-operatives UK ( has verifiable data confirming turnover of £28.9 billion. UK co-operatives in membership between them employ some 205,000 people.

At the global level, the International Co-operative Alliance ( estimates that over 800 million people are members of co-operatives, which together employ over 100 million people. A 2006 survey of co-operative and mutual enterprises worldwide found that the top 300 such businesses alone were together equivalent in scale to the world’s tenth largest economy, with a collective turnover nearing $1 trillion.


The Rochdale Pioneers started the world's first successful co-operative enterprise in 1846.

"... co-operative enterprises provide the organizational means whereby a significant proportion of humanity is able to take into its own hands the task of creating productive employment, overcoming poverty and achieving social integration ..."
Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General