CETS worked closely with SfC and Co-operative News to develop 'A student’s guide to starting a co-operative'.

Co-op News launches guide to starting student co-ops

Co-operative News has launched a student’s guide to starting a co-operative. The guide provides an overview of the key steps to be taken by anyone starting a student co-operative, alongside case studies and videos.

The guide has been sponsored by Co-operative Education Trust Scotland (CETS), an organisation working to embed co-operative values and principles and the co-operative model of enterprise at the heart of Scottish education.

If you have an idea for a student co-op, then get in touch! We’ll do everything we can to get your project off the ground!

Links to each page of the guide on the Co-op News website can be found below:

Student’s Guide: What is a co-operative? And why start one?

Some of the biggest issues facing us today can only be addressed by people co-operating.

Blog: Students for Co-operation by Sean Farmelo

The start of any social movement can be a long and arduous process of similar thoughts and ideas being fermented in a decentralised manner across a wide spectrum of people.

Video: Choose Coop

A short film from the US dramatically highlighting why it is better for people and the economy to choose coop.

Step one: the idea

At the start of any new co-operative is a good idea.

Blog: Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative by Lucy Eskell

For a co-operative to be a success it has to be a solution to a social problem.

Video: Local, loved and trusted

A fun collaborative film with over 50 co-operatives from across the UK contributing, produced by Co-operatives UK for Co-operatives Fortnight 2013.

Step two: the people

As an organisation run for and by its members, people are at the heart of a co-operative.

Video: An interview with Emily Lippold Cheney

US student co-operative activist Emily Lippold Cheney on engaging students in your co-operative.

Step three: the money

Having a great idea, a business plan and motivated people in place is essential. So is money.

Video: Student food co-ops in Brighton and Sussex

A short video about student food co-ops in Brighton and Sussex

Step four: the launch (and after)

The launch is a key time for your new co-operative, as well as the most fun.

Blog: Birmingham Bike Foundry by Chris Tomlinson

After finishing university I lived in a series of rented houses in Birmingham, often with terrible landlords or letting agencies…

Video: Birmingham Bike Foundry

A short film about Birmingham Bike Foundry, a worker co-operative based in Stirchley, Birmingham, which promotes cycling activities, offers training sessions and recycles discarded bikes.

Where to get support

If you’ve read through this guide and want to take the next step and talk to someone about starting a co-operative, then you can contact the following organisations.