Building a strong, distinctive & unified co-operative sector in the South West
Across the region there are hundreds of co-operative and mutual businesses, ranging from those with a national presence such as large building societies and The Co-operative Group - including the Co-operative Bank - to small local enterprises, owned by workers, consumers or the wider community. They are supported by organisations providing specialist business advice to existing co-operatives or those wishing to start up new co-operative and community enterprises.
Co-operative SW and The Fruit Tree conference held on 9 November put the spotlight on young people, work and the co-operative sector
Visit our EVENTS page to see feedback, outcomes and photos from the day.
The latest figures indicate there are about 600 enterprises, employing 13,500 workers. They offer goods and services in arts and design, IT, sports and leisure, catering, housing and education, recycling and waste collection and many more areas.
This site explains what makes co-ops and mutuals different from other businesses - or even other social enterprises. You can read or download our leaflet on the co-operative economy in the South West (PDF) for further information - you'll probably be surprised at the strength, breadth and influence of the co-operative sector. You can locate individual co-operatives in the South West and what they have to offer you, and read our latest newsletter on-line (PDF). Most of all, if you are a co-operative, USE THIS SITE to ask us to post details of your events, courses, special offers and promotions - or get in touch and find out how else you can get involved!
What is the Future for the co-operative sector?
Commissioned by Co-operatives UK, Robin Murray – a co-operative innovator and key thinker behind Fairtrade, Twin Trading and much more besides – has produced a radical vision of the how the co-operative sector can expand in the 21st Century.
Co-operation in the age of Google shows that we are living at a time of profound transformation. The information and communication revolution, widespread concerns about private sector greed, public sector finances and impending climate chaos present a wide range of possibilities for co-operative expansion. The review proposes a series of practical initiatives for 2011 and 2012 to strengthen the co-operative sector. To view Co-operation in the age of Google, click here.