Co-operatives and Capital

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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 a postgraduate business qualification at the University of the West of Scotland.

Topic: Co-operatives and Capital

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

Relevance to module: This lecture built on previous sessions looking at financing options for small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

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 10-15 minutes. See The Meaning of Ownership folder athttp://s.coop/162hh.

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; this section concludes  by looking at some of the benefits of co-operatives in terms of economic and social factors (for example, productivity and wealth inequality). The introduction to co-operatives is concluded by examining a particular type of co-operative: worker-owned businesses.

The uses of co-operatives are then discussed, followed by the main elements to consider when setting up a co-operative. The specific capital requirements of these types of enterprises are then discussed, in particular the role of shares in a co-operative and the attitude of banks. The lecture concludes by covering a number of relevant case studies, as well as ways in which students/graduates can get involved in co-operatives.

The lecture slides are provided below:

Co-operatives and Capital

Additional resources:

Co-operative Entrepreneurship – an ebook and VLE aimed at students/graduates containing information on how to set up a co-operative enterprise
http://s.coop/1fz8v

Simply Finance – an online resource by the UK’s trade body for co-operatives
http://s.coop/3biv

Co-operative and Community Finance – a significant source of funding for co-ops in the UK
http://s.coop/23t2

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cets

http://www.cets.coop/moodle

Co-operative Enterprise – The Invisible Giant

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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 three-year undergraduate Business Studies degree at the University of the West of Scotland.

Topic: Co-operative Enterprise – The Invisible Giant

Duration: Including a Q&A session, the lecture was 50 minutes in duration.

Relevance to module: This lecture built on previous sessions looking at micro-finance and co-operatives.

Content: The lecture assumed a basic level of 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 10-15 minutes. See The Meaning of Ownership folder athttp://s.coop/162hh.

The context is set by looking at the co-operative model of enterprise in comparison with the investor-owned and social enterprise models. This includes a discussion of core co-operative characteristics such as values and principles, ownership, governance, and surplus. The lecture then proceeds by communicating the types of co-operative businesses as well as the sectors they operate in. The next section examines some advantages and disadvantages of co-operatives before concluding with a look at key national and international co-operative statistics. The lecture slides are provided below:

Co-operative Enterprise_The Invisible Giant

Additional resources:

Democratic Enterprise – an ebook and VLE aimed at students/graduates containing information about democratic forms of enterprise
http://s.coop/1i7ns

The UK Co-operative Economy 2012 – facts and infographics from today’s lecture
http://s.coop/q0uq

Join the Co-op Future – a 4 minute film that offers a snapshot of the co-operative sector in Scotland
http://s.coop/1i7oy

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cets

http://www.cets.coop/moodle

Co-operating for Business Success in the Creative Industries

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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 http://s.coop/162hh.

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 http://cets.coop/moodle/course/view.php?id=4

Start a co-operative – an online resource by the UK’s trade body for co-operatives http://www.uk.coop/start-co-op

Join the Co-op Future – a 4 minute film that offers a snapshot of the co-operative sector in Scotland http://vimeo.com/43665118

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cets

http://www.cets.coop/moodle

UK Co-operative Education Conference 2013

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Featuring presentations of research and innovative practice spanning twenty-three countries and five continents, participants will have opportunities to learn from a wide range of researchers, practitioners, and educators. All presenters are engaged in challenging and innovating pedagogy, policy, and practice through co-operative learning and co-operation.

The Transformative Power of Co-operation in Education is organised by the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE) with support from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hull, England and the International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE). For over 30 years, the IASCE has led the way in highlighting and disseminating research and practice in co-operative learning and co-operation in education. The 2013 conference will be located at the University of Hull Scarborough Campus, situated beside the sea and overlooking the attractive town of Scarborough, with easy access to spectacular countryside and historic cities.

Participants will have the opportunity to become immersed in a conference design that is both innovative and interactive. Through dynamic engagement, delegates will be able to experience first-hand the power of co-operation to support dialogue, reflection and spirited exchange, as well as develop new networks and friendships.

More details can be found in the conference flyer – Conference Flyer final March 2013

What young people think about co-ops (part 2)

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We got some good feedback from our session with young co-operators at the beginning of the month; they braved the Scottish Spring to battle their way to New Lanark to discuss ways of promoting co-operatives and co-operative teaching in schools. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Focus on primary schools to get the message across – creates a new generation of co-operators.
  • Promote co-op success stories.
  • Establish a mentoring program – use existing student co-ops to help new co-ops.
  • Incorporate it into the careers service at schools.
  • Decide on key messages: co-operatives promote personal development, develop new, practical skills, and offer something new/interesting.
  • Create opportunities to meet with other student co-ops (a Young Co-op Network).
  • Need to get teachers to recognise that the co-operative option makes sense in a lot of areas in a school – builds upon existing ‘co-operative’ activities.

Plenty to think about for us as educators and co-operators.

Creating Co-operative Capital: Supporting the next generation of co-operators

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On the 11th of March, CETS is hosting an event which will bring together some of the many young people engaged in co-operative activity in Scottish education to discuss the idea of a ‘Co-operative Youth Network’. Fittingly, this event will be held in New Lanark where Robert Owen put into practice his pioneering ideas for a more co-operative society. Pupils from some of the schools in Scotland who are embracing co-operative teaching and learning (including some who are completing SQA qualifications in Co-operative Studies), as well as co-operative ways of working, will join together to participate in a series of participative and interesting activities. Attendees will also have an opportunity to undertake a guided tour of New Lanark.

The proceedings from this event will be communicated through this blog in the weeks following the event. We’re really looking forward to hearing what co-operation means to young people and it can be extended to others throughout Scotland.

Making 2013 a great year for Co-op Education

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Diarmuid

‘What could be important in this co-operative initiative is not what is accomplished but what it is intended to do.’
– José María Arizmendiarrieta

One of the key messages of the UN 2012 Year of Co-operatives was to see the celebration not as an ending but as a beginning. We have taken that to heart at CETS and have a variety of activities, resources and projects planned for 2013 that will hopefully improve co-operative education in Scotland and the UK.

  • The first cohort of students will be completing the inaugural SQA Awards in Co-operative Studies in 2013. Offered at levels 4, 5 and 6, the qualification provides secondary students with a detailed understanding of the core historical, social and organisational topics relating to co-operatives. We are working on promoting these awards to other Scottish secondary schools in the year ahead.
  • 2012 saw the development of our interactive online resource on the Commonwealth Games. The Co-operative Games: Succeeding together is aimed at upper primary/early secondary level pupils and covers a variety of topics within the Curriculum for Excellence. We will continue to promote? this resource in the run-up to the 2014 Games.
  • We are always seeking to develop relevant, interesting learning and teaching resources on co-operatives and 2013 will continue this trend. The end of the summer will see the launch of a resource on ‘making your school co-operative’. Loudoun Academy became the first “Scottish School of Co-operation -SSC”. We are now building on our work to create the first cluster of SSC schools in Edinburgh and the first Primary SSC in Angus. We also have plans for a second resource but we’re still at the idea generation stage; any ideas/suggestions are welcome at info@cets.coop.

2013 will also be also a big year for us in relation to our work at tertiary level:

  • In co-operation with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), we are organising a series of screenings of the US employee ownership film, We The Owners, across 3 or 4 Scottish Universities. Open to students, academics, local business people, and co-operators, the screenings will take place during late February, early March; contact info@cets.coop if interested in attending.
  • March will see the completion of an innovative project, supported by Co-operatives UK, to establish a co-operative providing employment to students from a Scottish university. Student-owned and led, the new co-operative will be launched in late March and will be based on a successful model from Mondragón Corporation in the Basque Country.
  • Finally, work continues, thanks to the support of CDS, on disseminating the outputs of a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between CETS and the University of Aberdeen. These outputs include an academic textbook, a collection of essays, an entrepreneurship guide for students/graduates, and a virtual learning environment. We are also delivering a series of lectures across Scottish universities, in particular with the University of the West of Scotland.

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