Social Economy

Article modified: September 2021, Author:

Including co-operatives and community enterprises.


Co-operative Working 1, 2 and 3 was part of a range of publications produced by Co-operatives Research Unit at the Open University – may still be available at Dept for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise? A selection of learning materials covering different aspects and different stages in the development of worker co-ops. From CRU, Technology Faculty, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, phone 01908 653054, email:

Radical Routes How to set up a workers’ co-op and How to set up a housing co-op booklets. Contact Footprint Workers Co-op to check availability, email:

Start your social enterprise (pdf, 3.7MB) is one of several publications available from Social Enterprise UK.

UK Society for Co-operative Studies publishes a regular Journal, but probably only for those really interested in all aspects of co-operative activity.

Networks and Educational

Also see: Academic providers such as School for Social Entrepreneurs, can be found on Professional Development page.

By location

Other websites

  • Assist Social Capital A Scottish project to promote the concept (and relevant action?).
  • Community Enterprise Ltd Business Support, Training and Consultancy Services for the Social Economy, based in Edinburgh.
  • Co-operative Assistance Network Trainers and consultants with various briefing sheets on the web site, including on housing, food and childcare co-ops.
  • Co-operatives UK is the merged body of co-op ‘trade associations’ – worker, consumer, housing, community and other co-op types. Legal and other services and support, training. Holyoake House, Hanover St, Manchester, M60 0AS. Co-operative & Community Finance is a sister organisation providing loan finance for co-operatives, employee owned businesses and social enterprises.
  • EMES Research Network European social economy research network.
  • Grassroots Economic Organizing On-the-ground news from the co-operative world (produced in North America).
  • LetsLink Information on setting up and running Local Exchange Trading Systems or Schemes – trading locally without money (using ‘complementary currencies’).
  • Social Economy Legal a blog from a trainee solicitor in Belfast. Note that there are some legal differences between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK.
  • Time Banking A variation on Lets (not to be confused with Time Bank, a volunteering set up). Also see Fair Shares.
  • is the online directory of co-operatives.
  • For an international angle on Social Entrepreneurs, take a look at Ashoka or its online resource Changemakers.
  • Institute for Social Entrepreneurs.
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