New business management course from Co-op Culture

'Barefoot practitioners' from last year's course are delivering support to new and existing co-ops via a new development agency

Development organisation Co-op Culture is running another Barefoot training programme in co-op and community business management.

The course, which runs from October 2021 to April 2022, is designed for people who have prior experience in managing a co-operative or community business and want to help other similar organisations to start and grow.

The course would also be suitable for staff of infrastructure bodies or existing co-operative development bodies as part of their continuous professional development, says Co-op Culture. At least two years’ management experience in the sector is required.

The course covers the following topics:

  • political, cultural and economic landscape around co-operative and community business development;
  • what it means to become a co-operative and community business advisor;
  • skills and strategies for successful working with new and existing co-ops and community businesses;
  • helping groups to define define their vision, mission and aims;
  • helping groups to choose the right governance model and legal structure
  • helping groups to define, refine and communicate their business models;
  • helping groups to properly research and define their products and services to create an effective marketing plan;
  • helping groups to develop financial models around their development;
  • helping groups to finance their development;
  • helping groups assess the financial health of their organisation;
  • how to ensure organisations have a thriving internal culture consistent with their vision and values; dealing with conflict constructively;
  • helping groups to write a business plan.

The mode of delivery is fortnightly on-line half-day workshops, run from October 2021 to April 2022 with a break over Christmas – with a commitment to attend 13 half day sessions.

Co-op Culture says 21 “barefoot practitioners” trained on last year’s programme are now delivering support to new and existing co-operatives and community businesses, have already established a new co-operative development body – the People Support Co-op.

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