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

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Collaboration Prize – pair up to pitch big

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Collaborating with other businesses can help you reach new markets, share resources and improve creative thinking.

Co-operative Development Scotland’s Collaboration Prize aims to encourage companies to work together and will this year be making £40,000 available for new collaborative projects.

Open to all Scotland-based companies with a collaborative idea, the competition welcomes proposals around:

  • Collaboration to gain scale in selling/buying
  • Collaboration to share resources, premises or equipment
  • Collaboration to enter new markets

Four winners will be chosen by a judging panel and will receive £5,000 cash to implement their idea as well as up to £5,000 of consultancy and additional support to set up the consortium.

The deadline for applications is Saturday 3 August, and workshops will be held through June and July for businesses to find out more.

The competition will be delivered in association with Creative Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

For further information or to apply, visit:

www.scottish-enterprise.com/cds-collaboration-prize

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

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.

The International Co-operative Youth Statement

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Diarmuid

On November 20, 2012, young cooperators from all over the world came to the United Nations Headquarters in New York to officially present the International Cooperative Youth Statement 2012, as part of the closing ceremony of the International Year of Cooperatives, declared by the UN. This pivotal year gave young people an opportunity to be heard and to promote the cooperative model.

The Statement was drawn up in an inclusive and participatory manner, which included an online survey, a discussion forum on Facebook and at the United Nations, as well as the finalization of the Statement by a group of young people committed to cooperative development. Through this process, young people from all over the world shared their experiences regarding youth empowerment and their involvement in cooperatives.

Source: http://s.coop/15df5

Firstly, this is a very encouraging development which has the potential to kickstart a programme of youth engagement that utilises the co-operative model of enterprise. The Statement outlines young people’s commitment to the economic, social and environmental benefits generated by co-operatives, in particular their ability to provide decent, satisfying jobs. It makes for a succinct, inspiring read and I would encourage those with a broad interest in youth development and co-operatives to read it. There are some particular passages which I will highlight here as they are relevant to our work in Scotland.

Of the recommendations made in the Statement, three stand out:

  • a benchmark of youth engagement in co-operatives should be developed, ranking this objective alongside other economic and social goals;
  • a call to embed teaching about the co-operative model of enterprise in education, from primary to tertiary; and
  • specific recognition as part of the ICA’s Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade.

The Statement is also wise to highlight some of the challenges to succesful youth development through the co-operative model, including:

  • the lack of awareness among young people, their teachers/lecturers, parents etc;
  • the risk that the co-operative model is perceived as old-fashioned;
  • a need for a stronger evidence base on the impact of co-operatives on youth development; and
  • the lack of engagement local co-operatives have with young people.

There are certainly some points in this Statement that deserve CETS’ and others attention. Thoughts?

INTERNATIONAL_COOPERATIVE_YOUTH_STATEMENT_2012

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