The Spirit of Co-operation – Livingston Lecture

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Hugh will be speaking at an interesting (and free) event this Thursday 01 May 2014:

 

The Spirit of Co-operation

West Lothian College
Thursday 1 May 2014
Registration: 6.00pm
Starts: 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Hear from industry experts the case for employee ownership of enterprise. Scotland has a rich tradition in this field, both in terms of practice and research, and this event will allow local businesses and individuals to explore the potential of employee ownership in West Lothian and further afield.

LivingstonLecture_Programme

Scottish School of Co-operation

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Cardinal Newman High in Bellshill became our latest Scottish School of Co-operation.  The school were presented with their award by the Provost of North Lanarkshire, Jimmy Robertson, at an event in the school last week.  The Provost noted the area’s co-op connections, both current and historical.  The new co-op food distribution centre is a 5 minute drive from the school and Scotmid have had a presence since the 19th century through the old Dalziell Co-op.

Cardinal Newman are certainly not going for half measures as regards their SSC status.  They are working with Scotwest to create a credit union and organising at least another 2 young co-op enterprises.

There were 10 co-operative businesses (Co-operative Group Food, Pharmacy, Funeralcare and Membership, Scotmid, Green City, Media Co-op, Scotwest, West Whitlawburn Housing Co-op and Clansman Dynamics) supporting a speed networking event.  In particular, the 40 pupils starting out on their SQA Awards in Co-operative Studies were able to extract valuable information on how co-op businesses function and what makes them different from other types of enterprise.  They also learned the role played in the creation of the original James Bond character – Sean Connery having spent his initial years in employment with Scotmid.

We are hopeful that this event might prove to be the catalyst for developing SSC across North Lanarkshire.  The council has made a significant investment in developing co-operative teaching, so it would seem logical to want to teach about co-ops as part of that exercise.  The significant employer engagement and the use of co-ops as the context for cross curricular learning and teaching was also noted by senior educators.

Opportunities for postgrads to study co-ops and social enterprise

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Dr Silvia Sacchetti of the University of Stirling has created two postgraduate programmes for students interested in learning more about inclusive business practices, specifically co-operatives and social enterprises. In Dr Sacchetti’s words:

“Both are for students who have an interest in understanding how to build more inclusive societies through business and human relations. In the courses we do address cooperatives and social enterprises specifically, besides other more general considerations on business governance or human resource management. I am in fact happy to have introduced a different perspective to most of the students who have joined the programmes since their start in 2011. Most of my students from last year work for social enterprises, cooperatives and charities now.”

Further details can be found t the links below.

MSc International Business and Socio-Economic Development

MSc HRM and Socio-Economic Development

Global Co-operative Monitor

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The first multi-dimensional ranking of cooperatives worldwide

The main goal of the world Co-operative Monitor project is to improve a multi- indicator database reporting on the socio-economic value and impact of cooperatives both within a global scenario and in their regional and national contexts. In 2005 the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) began the Global300, an initiative finalized to develop a list of the 300 biggest co-operatives and mutual organizations worldwide.

In 2011, with the addition of Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises) as a technical- scientific partner, this ICA project gains methodological strength. In order to expand and give more scientific basis to the project, Euricse and ICA have established a scientific committee consisting of Euricse researchers and other international experts with diverse training and skills. The result of this collaboration is the publication of The World Co-operative Monitor Report that has been presented at the closing of the International Year of Cooperatives in Manchester and recalled during the official celebrations at the UN Palace in New York. Contribute to the monitor here: http://s.coop/1khzf

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

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