Co-operative Development Scotland

Collaboration, employee-ownership and succession

Co-operative Development Scotland

Support to develop collaborative business models, employee-owned enterprises and advice on business succession across Scotland.  

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is the arm of Scottish Enterprise working in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise that supports company growth through co-ownership and collaborative business models. We offer advice to help you choose and implement the best co-operative business model for your organisation. We now also deliver succession advice.

Contact your local area HIE office >

Collaborating using the consortium business model

Consortium co-operatives are established when businesses come together for a shared purpose; to buy or sell in scale, market more effectively, share facilities or jointly bid for contracts.  By collaborating businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth in the UK and internationally.

Find out more about collaboration and the support available >

Employee Ownership 

Employee ownership is an effective way to drive business performance. Selling your company to your employees, or implementing an employee share plan, can boost productivity, increase employee engagement, and keep the company in the community.

How employee ownership could suit your business needs

Aquascot, employee ownership case study

Find out more about employee ownership and the support available >


Whether the day you hand over the reins of your business is a long way off or looming large, the more time you take to plan for smooth succession, the better. There are lots of different options available such as, sale to another shareholder, ownership transfer within the family and employee buyout. Succession expert Support service is delivered Scotland wide by Scottish Enterprise.

Succession videos >

Find out more about the options available when considering succession and apply for support >

Community co-operatives

Support to develop community co-operatives

Community co-operatives provide for shared ownership and control of services or assets, such as shops or utilities. This can be vital in areas where external investment is not readily available but also gives the community control over issues such as strategy and working conditions – and income can be invested back into the community, through local projects.

Community co-operatives case study >

Find out more about community co-operatives and the support available >


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