Who we work with

Co-operative Development Scotland

Strontian Primary School

Co-operative Development Scotland

Co-operative Development Scotland is the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that supports company growth through employee ownership and co-operative business models. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that we need to change how business is done. These business models can play a critical role in economic recovery, supporting the Scottish Government’s aim to create a fairer, stronger and more democratic economy. Find out how we can help your company achieve more.

Who we are

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) supportcompanies and community groups who want to adopt employee ownership or co-operative business models such as consortium and community co-operatives. 

We help businesses and community enterprises grow by offering a range of advice and services, including free masterclasses and one-to-one support. We also raise awareness of the benefits of employee ownership and business collaboration through the media and events.

MacTV - an employee-owned company
Anderson Bell + Christie Architects

How we can help

Thinking about employee ownership or a co-operative business model? Co-operative Development Scotland can offer one-to-one sessions with a specialist advisor to help you choose the best business model for your needs and set it upWe also provide a range of information, advice and services to help you along the way. 

For example, if you’re considering employee ownership, we can provide a feasibility study to help you decide if this model is right for your business. If you do decide to switch, we can provide partial grant support for the advisory work.  

For businesses or communities looking to collaborate or set up a co-operative, we can provide advice on how to get started, including legal requirements and how to structure your co-operative. 

Find out more about the various types of co-operative business we can help in the following sections.

Contact our specialists

Get in touch with Co-operative Development Scotland to find out how we can help you with enquiries about employee ownership or co-operative business models.

An introduction to inclusive business models

Do you want to learn more about creating an economy that is fairer, stronger and more democratic as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic?

Reset & Rebuild Podcast: Redefining business ownership

Listen to our reset and rebuild podcast

Learn the basics of employee ownership, consortium co-operatives and community co-operatives, and the role they can play in building an economy that puts people and planet before profit.

Types of co-operative business models

Employee ownership

In an employee-owned business, the workers hold the majority of the shares, either directly or through an Employee Ownership Trust. Selling to employees has many benefits for business owners, workers and the local community.

Learn more about employee ownership, see case studies and view other resources. Then find out how Co-operative Development Scotland can help you get started.

Find out more about employee ownership

New Hopetoun Gardens - an employee-owned business

Consortium co-operatives

A consortium co-operative is established when several businesses come together for a shared purpose. This could be to buy or sell at scale, market more effectively, share facilities or jointly bid for contracts.   

By collaborating as a consortium, businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth in the UK and internationally. Read case studies, see our video guide and explore how Co-operative Development Scotland can help you set up a consortium co-operative. 

Learn about consortium co-operatives

Made in Scotland - a consortium co-operative

Community co-operatives 

Community co-operatives are created when local residents come together to buy and run an asset - such as a wind turbine, hydro scheme, shop or pub - for the benefit of all.

This business model gives people the tools they need to preserve essential public services. It can also bring exciting new business opportunities with wider social and environmental advantages.

Learn more about community co-operatives and view case studies and other resources. Then see how Co-operative Development Scotland can help your community get started.

Find out about community co-operatives

Crunchy Carrot community co-operative

Get collaborative on social

Find out more about Co-operative Development Scotland and the businesses and co-operatives we support. Check out our blog and social media.

Read our blog

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