Power of co-operation will boost economy

Shared ownership is becoming 'mainstream' in the UK, according to Co-operative Development Scotland.


Sarah Deas, Chief Executive of the Scottish Enterprise subsidiary, was speaking ahead of the UK's flagship Co-operative Congress 2011, where she will chair a keynote session with national bosses of the Post Office and the National Trust.


The event, from 24 to 26 June in Birmingham, brings together everyone interested in co-operatives to share ideas, learn and be inspired – and marks the start of Co-operatives Fortnight (25 June - 9 July), the national celebration of co-operative enterprise led by trade body Co-operatives UK.


Deas is to chair the Saturday 25 June keynote session, entitled The Power of Co-operation. She will introduce keynote speakers including Paula Vennells, Managing Director of Post Office Limited; Dame Fiona Reynolds, Director General of The National Trust and Andrew Simms, author and economist.


"Co-operative business models used to be considered niche, but the calibre of speakers at this year's Co-operative Congress indicates that they are now entering the mainstream and being taken seriously at a national level," Deas said.  "This is great news for the economy, because shared ownership does indeed offer powerful benefits in terms of productivity, profitability and sustainability."


Other speakers during the three-day Co-operative Congress programme include Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance and Mary Portas, 'Queen of Shops' - Britain's best known retail guru and consumer champion.


In Scotland, CDS is marking Co-operatives Fortnight with two free workshops on the consortium model in collaboration with Business Gateway in Edinburgh and Inverness on 1st and 8th July respectively. To book please email carol.smith@cdscotland.co.uk or phone 0141 951 3089.


CDS helped to create 30 new businesses in 2010/11– its busiest year to date.

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Tags: http://www.uk.coop/yourstoshare/c14/about-co-operatives-fortnight

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