Over 150,000 people have now invested in community shares and democratically own and run community businesses across the UK. Through this unique form of finance, communities have saved local shops and pubs, financed renewable energy schemes, transformed community facilities, supported local food growing, funded new football clubs, restored heritage buildings, and above all, built stronger, more vibrant, and independent communities.
Simon Borkin leads on the design and delivery of co-operative development programmes at Co-operatives UK, specialising in community shares and wider co-operative financing models. In this role, he has led the work of the Community Shares Unit since 2012, which promotes good practice and raises awareness of community shares as a sustainable funding mechanism for community enterprises.
Simon is also a board member at Friends of Stretford Public Hall – a Grade II listed heritage space in Manchester, owned and run by the local community. He led on their successful community share offer in 2017 which raised £250,000 to fund renovations to the hall’s wonderful Victorian ballroom. He has an MSc in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from Manchester Business School.