The following details a lecture that CETS delivered as part of its knowledge exchange project (supported by Co-operative Development Scotland).

Module delivery: This session was delivered as part of the BA in Applied Enterprise course at the University of the West of Scotland.

Topic: Co-operative Enterprise and the Creative Industries

Duration: Including a Q&A session, the lecture was one and a quarter hours in duration.

Relevance to module: This lecture built on previous sessions looking at partnerships and small businesses in the creative industries.

Content: The lecture assumed no previous knowledge of co-operatives. Firstly, a brief thought exercise was conducted; it is designed to get students thinking about the relationship between capital and labour in a business. Depending on questions, this exercise usually lasts between 15-20 minutes. See The Meaning of Ownership folder at

The context is set by looking at the co-operative model of enterprise in general before dealing with the topic at hand. This includes a discussion of core co-operative characteristics such as values and principles, ownership, governance, and surplus. The lecture then proceeds by communicating key co-operative statistics, both global and the UK.

The next section focuses on the practical uses of co-operatives in the creative industries, in particular how they are used to share resources, risk and rewards. Some real-world examples of why entrepreneurs choose the co-op model are covered. Time is then spent examining the seven key design elements of a co-operative and how you would set up a business according to these elements. Interspersed throughout are case studies of successful co-operatives operating in the creative industries. The lecture concludes with some suggested discussion questions. The lecture slides are provided below:

Co-operating for Business Success in the Creative Industries

Additional resources:

Co-operative Entrepreneurship – an ebook and VLE aimed at students/graduates containing information on how to set up a co-operative enterprise

Start a co-operative – an online resource by the UK’s trade body for co-operatives

Join the Co-op Future – a 4 minute film that offers a snapshot of the co-operative sector in Scotland