There is growing interest in creating fairer, democratic and purpose lead businesses. Focus is shifting from businesses that generate profits for distant or small number of shareholders to organisations  that increase prosperity and equity, creating better opportunities for everyone and spreading the benefits of economic success more evenly.

Co-operative businesses are democratically run organisations owned and controlled by their members to meet the needs of those members. They are strong, diverse and stable businesses that create shared wealth that put people and place on equal footing to profit.  Membership can be made up of employees, customers, residents, other business such as suppliers or partners who all have an interest and a voice in running the co-operative. For a business to be recognised as a co-operative it must follow the co-operative principles of:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training, and Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community

There are a range of co-ops that can fit a variety of members needs and ambitions. Some examples are shown below:

  • Community co-operatives
  • Consortium co-ops- means of collaboration
  • Platform co-ops- digital/ tech co-ops
  • Worker co-ops
  • Employee owned businesses

Co-operative Development Scotland supports company growth in Scotland through employee ownership and co-operative business models.  We can offer advice to help you choose and implement the best co-operative business model for your organisation or community.

You can find out more about co-operative business models and our support by visiting our main website here.

You can get in touch with our team here.