15 Jul 2012 09:00
Co-operative Development Scotland helps create 30 new businesses in 2011/2012
Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has helped create 30 new businesses in 2011/12 – equalling last year’s record performance – according to its annual report.
The Scottish Enterprise subsidiary has exceeded its company-creation targets for 2011/12 by 50 per cent.
The businesses are expected to deliver £9m to the Scottish economy over the next three years.
Twenty-one are consortium co-operatives – groups of businesses who come together to enhance their growth potential. Five are community co-operatives, which allow people to come together for investment opportunities. The other four are employee-owned firms, whereby workers become shareholders in their own company.
On the back of this success CDS has secured another three years’ funding from Scottish Enterprise, totalling £1.8m.
The news follows research released last month by Co-operatives UK – the trade body for co-operative businesses – which shows that Scotland now has 578 co-operative companies with turnover in excess of £4bn. Their growth rate of 1.5 per cent in 2011 outperformed the UK economy as a whole of 0.7 per cent – by twice the rate. Writing in the annual report, Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), said: “There was growing recognition by politicians and business people of the benefits of models that root businesses in their communities and empower employees. The concept of the ‘John Lewis Economy’ was frequently referenced in the media.”
She added: “This upsurge in interest has certainly contributed to our success over the past year.
One of the firms helped by CDS is an Aberdeen-based hydrocarbon accounting business, which tracks the ownership of oil and gas products from the wellhead to the point of sale.
Accord Energy wanted to become employee-owned in order to accelerate growth in both domestic and overseas markets. With advice from CDS and Baxi Partnership, Accord Energy has set up a Share Incentive Plan to allow its 22 employees to buy shares in the business.
The business plans to recruit up to 50 staff and is targeting turnover of £4-5m in the next few years.
Alan Spence, who co-founded Accord Energy in 2010, said: “The journey towards employee ownership went smoothly for us because of the fantastic support we had along the way from CDS and Baxi Partnership. We took the decision to boost our business by creating a structure that attracts talented people and directly rewards their hard work.
“Since we became employee-owned there has been a very positive response from staff and clients and we feel we can look to the future with renewed confidence.”
Other successes for CDS include Stewart Buchanan Group – the valve and pressure gauge manufacturer – which became the largest employee buy-out in Scotland in recent years, preserving 150 jobs in Kilsyth.
Hebridean Jewellery also chose employee ownership in order to continue 35 years of design and manufacture in its fragile rural community on South Uist.
In terms of the consortium model, the formation of the Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative – a collection of businesses working together to promote the wider area – enabled member businesses to jointly develop a new bus service.
The Breadalbane Group was originally formed with support from the Rural Team at Scottish Enterprise as one of its 'Planning to Succeed' groups. It has also received assistance from CDS.
Deas added: “2012/2013 will be another busy year for CDS as we strive to maximise our contribution to the economic growth of Scotland.
“We have just launched our Employee Ownership Ambassadors programme and have a year-long series of roadshows showcasing successful employee-owned companies across Scotland to mark the International Year of the Co-operatives.”
A copy of the CDS annual report for 2011/12 can be downloaded at www.scottish-enterprise.com/Resources/Reports/CDS-Annual-Review-2012.aspx For further information on CDS see www.cdscotland.co.uk or call on 0141 951 3055.
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is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Our role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. We support ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and help build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. We also work with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.
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Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is a Scottish Enterprise subsidiary, established to help companies grow by setting up consortium or employee-owned businesses. It works in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Consortium co-operatives are established when groups of companies come together to pool their resources. The consortium is run on an equal basis for its members, and may be set up to buy or sell in scale, market more effectively, share facilities or jointly bid for contracts.
An employee-owned business is one in which the employees hold the majority of the shares either directly or through an employee benefit trust. Employee ownership gives employees a meaningful stake in their organisation together with a genuine say in how it is run.
Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) helped create 30 new businesses in 2011/2012, exceeding its company-creation targets by 50 per cent. The businesses are expected to deliver £9m to the Scottish economy over the next three years.
For further information on CDS see www.cdscotland.co.uk
or call on 0141 951 3055.
Follow CDS on Twitter @cdscotland or the CDS blog at cdsblog.co.uk