Did You Know?

The 300 largest co-operatives in the world have a combined revenue of almost $1 trillion; roughly the same size as the Canadian economy.

There are over 12.9 million members of co-operatives throughout the UK, roughly one fifth of the population.

The UK co-operative economy grew by 15.8% in 2009, to £33.5 billion.

Inspiring co-operative enterprise through education

Co-operative Enterprise


A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

Alternative enterprise

A co-operative is a sustainable and ethical business model that is driven by its values, acting as an alternative to profit maximising conventional businesses. Co-operatives aspire to and achieve multiple bottom lines, such as environmental impact and ethical trading as well as earning a profit. The co-operative sector provides significant benefits to Scotland such as economic growth, jobs retention, and income equality as well providing vital community services. In 2009, the co-operative sector contributed £3.4bn to the Scottish economy and provided 15,000 jobs (report here).

The call for co-operation

The global financial crisis has exposed major flaws in traditional business models and people are looking for alternative ways of doing business. Government support and a new generation that is driven by its values highlights the increasing popularity and importance of co-operative enterprise. It is vital future generations of Scottish citizens understand the role co-operatives play in an economic, social and environmental context.
The Co-operative Education Trust Scotland aims to address this lack of understanding through its educational resources and programmes, thereby encouraging individuals to become active citizens in their local community.