Education company becomes a co-op to grow the business
When the directors of teaching agency Equity Solutions Ltd realised their legal model was holding them back, they approached Social Business Wales to help them transform into a co-operative. This enabled them to enshrine co-operative values and access new tendering opportunities.
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Equity Solutions Ltd is an education agency which supplies teachers and support staff to schools. It also provides bespoke services such as high quality tutoring for hard to reach, vulnerable or challenging learners.
Why help was needed
The three Directors, Michael O’Neill, Lianne Mason and Nerys Owen, were driven by a desire to see equity and fairness in the education sector, and raising attainment for all. They were committed to paying their staff fair rates, charging manageable fees to their partner schools and ensuring that services ensured quality over profits.
They had originally set up the business as a company limited by shares, but this legal model was preventing them from tendering for local authority contracts.
Realising that they needed to find a new structure, but keen to embed the social principles which had motivated them to start the business in the first place, they approached Social Business Wales for support.
How we helped
SBW advisor Tricia Morgan advised the Directors on various legal models which would suit their needs. They decided to become a co-operative with a company limited by guarantee legal structure.
The support from SBW went much further. Advice from a marketing specialist resulted in a marketing plan being produced. HR support to review and update contracts of employment, job descriptions, HR policies and develop a staff handbook helped the organisation strengthen its position as a fair and ethical employer. As well as this, support was given to help the company develop an environmental policy, action plan and an eco code.
Impact of our support
By becoming a co-op, Equity Solutions has committed to uphold the principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. It has confirmed its commitment to being an ethical agency which pays fair wages and encourages colleagues to feel like part of a team.
It has also secured a new contract with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.
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