The Co-operative College is leading a project aiming to inspire young people in Scotland to set up their own co-ops.
The Together Enterprise Scotland project, run by the College in partnership with Pilton Youth Children’s Project and supported by the RBS Skills and Opportunities fund, will match 16-24 year olds with mentors from local co-ops. They will also gain new skills and achieve an ASDAN Award in enterprise.
Running from 29 April until February 2020, the programme will see weekly sessions covering the basics of setting up a new enterprise, such as marketing, finance and business plans.
The project is running in of the most deprived areas in Scotland, with local unemployment rates in Pilton at 8.4% compared with 3.9% in the rest of Edinburgh.
The College is already running a similar project in Rochdale in partnership with the local authority, with financial backing from the Co-op Group.
Gemma Obeng, UK programmes manager at the College, said: “We’re delighted to bring our Together Enterprise project to Scotland and can’t wait to get started. We know the transformational impact co-operatives can have on communities and look forward to helping all those involved in the project bring their business ideas to life”.
Zoe Powell Martin, support worker at Pilton Youth and Children’s Project, said: “I’m very excited to be part of Together Enterprise, and can’t wait to see young people from across the community build co-operatives that will benefit everyone, strengthening our own community in the process.
“This is an amazing opportunity for everyone in Pilton. Not only are young people on the training course benefiting but also our neighbours and friends who will get to engage with co-operative businesses that are purposefully built for them.”