Skip to content

Platform co-operatives - solving the capital conundrum

A platform co-operative is a digital platform that is designed to provide a service or sell a product - that is collectively owned and governed by the people who depend on and participate in it.

A growing number of people manage their work and resources through digital platforms that offer boundless flexibility and independence. However, these platforms can be exploitative and monopolistic, owned largely by a small number of Big Tech corporations which enable the precarious gig economy, exacerbate systemic inequalities and facilitate data surveillance and data capture.

Platform co-operatives are a potential route to a fairer, more inclusive digital economy, that generates tangible advantages for workers and consumers alike.

For platform co-operatives to grow and flourish as an alternative this report calls for:

  • the establishment of a Platform Co-ops Fund, informed by the community shares model
  • the development of accelerator activities to support emerging platform co-ops
  • a campaign to raise awareness of the platform co-op model among the tech sector
  • further investigation into how such capital models can help existing purpose-driven tech business adopt a co-op structure

Download the report

Authors

Jenni Lloyd

Jenni Lloyd

Jenni Lloyd

Programme Manager, Innovation Programmes

Jenni is a Programme Manager working on the ShareLab Fund.

View profile
Tom Symons

Tom Symons

Tom Symons

Acting Head of Government Innovation

Tom is a Principal Researcher in the Policy and Research team at Nesta.

View profile

Simon Borkin

Simon Borkin is Programme Development Lead at Co-operatives UK. His work focuses on community enterprise development with a specialism in community shares.