A group of prize winning young co-operatives have held a weekend of development in Bradford.
The six cooperatives from all over the UK took the Altgen Young Co-operators Prize earlier this year and have come together to form the basis of a young co-operators network in the UK.
The group was made up of co-operative from around the UK, including Bradford-based creative agency Chapel Street Studio, Plymouth-based Initiate, and London-based Altgen, London Student, Blake House, and community co-operative Ceramics Studio.
The network plans to support, educate and trade with each other to create a different kind of work: one where young entrepreneurs’ voices are valued, profits and opportunities are distributed fairly, and there is care about the impact on people and the environment.
They will be recruiting other ‘young’ co-ops (0-5yrs) over the winter months to join the network and take part in a co-creation hack weekend at a new Young Co-op hub space in London; at which the foundations of the organisations will be set-up.
Rhiannon Colvin from Altgen said: “As well as access to support, skill sharing, funding and a wider network, we expect that our network will be the driving force behind enacting social change and taking the co-operative movement to the young, dynamic entrepreneurs that we know are out there. We are here to inspire, facilitate and support.”
The weekend included reflections on the first six months of the network along with problem solving in co-operatives.
The weekend was a chance for each member to share solutions and ideas about their range of work. It wasn’t all work and no play though – a Friday night trip to the local Fanny’s Ale House situated in UNESCO site Saltaire village, a Saturday night dance music party, and a rainy Sunday morning walk along the canal and up on’t moor – which also offered an insight into the good life to be found in West Yorkshire.
Martyn Johnston of Chapel Street Studio said of the weekend: “This was a fantastic opportunity for some of the brightest minds from the co-operative network in the UK to come to West Yorkshire and spend a weekend with us.
“We see our part in the Young Co-operators Network as vital to our continued growth and development as a creative force to be reckoned with in the region.”
Chapel Street Studio is a value-led, Bradford-based consortium of creative entrepreneurs and businesses providing a one-stop-shop for communication services and is encouraging interested members to come forward and join the movement.