There is less than a week to go for businesses in Scotland to apply for Co-operative Development Scotland’s (CDS) inaugural Collaboration Prize.

Backed by the First Minister, the £30,000 Collaboration Prize will provide cash and support to develop the three new consortium co-operatives in Scotland.

Co-operatives are collaborative vehicles that play an important role in creating globally competitive businesses. They enable employees, businesses and communities to work together to fulfil shared interests.

With a combined turnover of £4bn and employing around 28,000 people, Scotland’s 578 co-operative enterprises currently play a key role in driving Scotland’s economic growth.

Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-operative Development Scotland, said: “Collaborating through a consortium has been proven to drive business performance as it allows individuals and smaller companies to pool their resources.

“With less than a week to go, we wanted to remind businesses that have considered collaborating in this way that there is still plenty of time to apply.”

First Minister Alex Salmond launched the competition earlier this year to mark the UN-backed International Year of Co-operatives 2012.

CDS is calling for interested parties to pitch an idea for a new consortium with up to three winning concepts each receiving a cash prize of £5,000 and a further £5,000 of support to get the business off the ground.

The deadline for entries is 31 July 2012 and winners will be announced in August. For more information about the Collaboration Prize or Co-operative Development Scotland, please visit: or call 0141 951 3055.