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What’s next for employee ownership and the EOT?

Bookings are now open for our upcoming Employee Ownership Explained Webinar Programme. These expert webinars, aimed at professional advisers, will explore different aspects of employee ownership, equipping the audience to support their clients in making informed decisions.

In advance of the first event, we caught up with guest speaker, Graeme Nuttall OBE, for his reflections on the Nuttall Review ten years after its publication.

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Worker Co-ops: Support and connecting the sector

On October 27th, a gathering of worker co-operatives is taking place that provides an exciting opportunity to find out more about the sector and the support available within it.

As the event draws near, we thought it was a great time to catch up with one of the key organisers and founding member of media co-op, Louise Scott, to find out more about the sector and what is in store for us at the event.

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GlenWyvis: The power of community to create successful, inclusive and sustainable businesses

The community business sector is a hugely exciting place right now. We see many examples of groups coming together with ambitious plans to establish new ventures in their communities that improve local amenities and create fair and inclusive economic opportunities.

A key part of helping groups get off the ground is hearing from others who have already succeeded. GlenWyvis, a whisky distillery near Dingwall, is one of the more established community businesses we have worked with, so we thought it was a good time to catch up with this flourishing business. Lindi Konso, Sales and Marketing Representative spent some time chatting to our team about GlenWyvis’ inspiring story and how this distillery is doing things differently.

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Co-ops Fortnight 2022

It’s that time again when we join with our colleagues from Co-operatives UK and the Co-op sector to celebrate Co-ops Fortnight.

This year we have been invited to #UnwrapCoops and are celebrating the many different, inspiring ways that being part of a co‑op can make to people’s lives. We thought it was the perfect time to catch up with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) team leader, Darah Zahran for an update on the sector in Scotland.

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New project launched to support young entrepreneurs to create businesses with social purpose

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has partnered with Youth Enterprise Scotland (YE Scotland) on a new initiative which provides the first comprehensive source of information on inclusive, values-led business models for young people. Together we aim to inspire young entrepreneurs to set up companies with a social or environmental purpose.

Gillian Kirton, project manager, Co-operative Development Scotland

To find out more about this innovative and exciting project, we caught up with Gillian Kirton, Project Manager at Co-operative Development Scotland.

“At CDS, we have seen growing interest from business leaders in co-operatives, employee-owned businesses, social enterprises, B-Corps, and community interest companies. This interest has grown further since the Covid-19 pandemic and as Scotland strives to become a wellbeing economy, there is a desire for change and for businesses to put people and planet on an equal footing to profit.  

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Award-winning construction management training firm transitions to Employee Ownership Trust

Construction management training company Esteem Training Limited has become the latest successful Scottish business to secure its future as an employee-owned enterprise.

With immediate effect, shares in Glasgow-based company previously owned by founder and director Trudy Mackenzie and fellow directors Ian Grigg and Martina Höfner have been transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Benefits of the transition to EOT include rewarding the contribution of its dedicated team for whom the development safeguards job security while ensuring that ownership of another successful independent, growing business remains in Scottish hands.

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Glasgow digital agency announces move to employee ownership

Glasgow-based Spider Online has announced it is joining the growing number of employee-owned businesses in Scotland, with all staff given a stake in the company.

Founded by John Campbell and Tony O’Grady in 2004, Spider Online is an award-winning digital agency specialising in website and app delivery, serving customers across government, transport and HR. Clients include FirstGroup, Tesco Bank, COSLA, Audit Scotland, National Transport Authority Ireland, Imperial College London and Bristol Airport.

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Platform co-ops – your route to an ethical digital business

Ludovica Rogers

In our latest blog, we are pleased to welcome Ludovica Rogers, Programme Manager, New Co-op Ventures at Co-operatives UK who shares her insight on how co-ops can provide a more ethical, values lead approach to digital business.

The rise of digital platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo may have provided consumers with greater choice and convenience, but it’s come at a cost – to the riders, drivers and others on the frontline of those services. The gig economy that’s emerged through these digital innovations has exploited regulations, increased precarious working and created the conditions for tech giants to dominate markets.  

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Happy New Year from Co-operative Development Scotland

From the CDS team

As 2020 drew to a close we looked back on a year like no other, but little did we realise the next 12 months would be very similar. Although we are still in the throes of the pandemic, it’s been a busy time for Co-operative Development Scotland and the sector. Momentum continues to grow and more businesses and communities are now looking to values led and democratic approaches to build a stronger and fairer economic future. As we enter 2022 we reflect on a busy and rewarding year.  

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Inspiring community businesses

Picture of Suzanne Orchard

In our latest blog article, we catch up with Suzanne Orchard, Specialist in our team at Co-operative Development Scotland to find out about our recent webinar Community Business: Making it Easy.

Community Business: Making it Easy is a partnership between Co-operative Development Scotland, the Plunkett Foundation and Community Shares Scotland to raise awareness of community business and the available support in Scotland. The partnership creates a one-stop-shop for community business and promotes the collective support package available to ensure a straightforward, streamlined service for clients.

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Can co-ops drive climate action?

With COP-26 underway, messages about the climate emergency will dominate all media outlets over the next few weeks and well into the future as we try to grapple with what is by far the most important issue globally. As the delegates arrive in Glasgow, we thought it was timely to catch up with Darah Zahran, team leader at Co-operative Development Scotland (part of Scottish Enterprise) on how Co-ops can play a part in supporting the climate agenda.

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The role of community business in shaping our future

This month we are pleased to feature a guest blog from Katie Little from Community Shares Scotland. Read on to find out more about Katie’s thoughts on the role of community enterprise in the race to zero .

With the COP26 conference starting next week and an increasing focus on a community wealth building agenda, the role that community enterprise can play in shaping the future of our just transition to net zero is becoming increasingly evident. Recent conferences from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme and the Development Trusts Association Scotland have reinforced this, focusing on community-led climate action and featuring case studies highlighting the breadth of action that is going on on the ground in communities across Scotland.

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Employee-owned Aquascot accelerates their ambition to become a smart factory

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Scotland’s largest employee-owned headquartered company, Alness-based sustainable seafood company, Aquascot, succeeded in digitalising production and quality assurance over the last 12 months. In our newest blog we catch up with John Housego, managing director to find out more about the significance of the project and what it will do for the business.

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Are you thinking of selling your business?

Employee ownership specialist adviser Glen Dott shares why succession planning should be dealt with sooner rather than later and shares details on a series on upcoming succession masterclasses. 

Planning for succession is one of the biggest challenges a business owner will face. When you’ve worked hard to build up your business, what do you do when it comes time to stop? Whether you’re looking to hand over the reins of your business soon or simply planning for the long-term, make sure you explore all the available options in advance to allow time for plans to be properly drawn up. Giving the topic early consideration can mean better results for the employer, the employees and the business. 

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Community Business: Making it easy- New video guide available

The community business sector in Scotland is growing and, to support this, Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is working in partnership with Community Shares Scotland (CSS) and the Plunkett Foundation to raise awareness and improve access to support.  The partnership has just launched a new video guide which introduces the subject of community business – so we caught up with our co-ops specialist, Jaye Martin, to find out more about the sector, the support available and why now is a key moment for community business in Scotland.

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Leveraging Ownership event follow up

Last month Scottish Enterprise held a webinar on Leveraging Ownership at which participants gained valuable insights into the evidence underpinning employee ownership and its impact on business performance and employee engagement.

Drawing on practical lessons and experiences from Sheffield-based Gripple and the Basque Country’s Mondragon Corporation, the webinar demonstrated how employee ownership in its different forms can support a pervasive culture of accountability, self-management and employee-driven innovation.

Following on from the event, we asked Dr Peter Totterdill, Director of Workplace Innovation Europe, to write a blog based on the findings from the event including a Q&A with Ed Stubbs, MD of Gripple and James Sallows, Chair of GLIDE, the Employee Ownership Trust that holds shares on behalf of workers at Gripple, about their model of employee ownership.

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Aberdeen IT firm marks tenth birthday with employee ownership transition

North East IT provider ITWORX has announced its transition to employee ownership, with 17 staff given a stake in the business.

Established in 2010 by Philip Mowatt and Jill Ross, ITWORX provides tailored IT and communications services and solutions to a range of clients. The firm is headquartered in Aberdeen and has recently expanded into Dundee and Angus, however many of its clients have a global footprint. With 50 years of combined experience, a host of prestigious awards, and a customer retention rate of 98%, ITWORX prides itself on providing an exceptional quality of service. Last year, the firm turned over £2.6m.

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