This paper presents how the rise of social enterprise (SE) offers opportunities for cooperative education and cooperative social entrepreneurship (CSE). Internationally, the impulse for SE arose out of changing attitudes to charity trading, sustainable development and the cooperative movement. In England, it has specifically cooperative origins dating back to 1979 at Beechwood College (Leeds). By the 1990s, worker cooperatives and their development agencies were collaborating to create the first SE support organisation and regional SE agency (Ridley-Duff and Southcombe, 2012). Up to 2002, SE was tightly integrated with cooperative development. After 2002, it was reframed to align with charity and public-sector reform plans. I examine how CSE expresses a commitment to integrating and extending the application of cooperative values and principles into a wider range of SEs. CSE focuses on collaborative action that broadens the notion of the common bond through new approaches to cooperativism to build a social solidarity economy (SSE) (Curl, 2010; Ridley-Duff, 2015). In doing so, CSE gives more active consideration to the interests of labour, the local community and society in the design and development of cooperative enterprises.
Author: Rory Ridley-Duff / Conference Paper 2018