About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

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


Jenni Lloyd

Jenni Lloyd

Jenni Lloyd

Programme Manager, Innovation Programmes

Jenni was a Senior Programme Manager, responsible for the development, management and delivery of government innovation programmes.

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Tom Symons

Tom Symons

Tom Symons

Deputy Director, fairer start mission

Tom is the deputy mission director for the fairer start mission at Nesta.

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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.