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New course teaches organisations how to run 'Cameron's co-ops'

Businesses and charities interested in setting up co-operatives are being given the chance to get to grips with the concept in courses run by Sheffield Hallam University.

The new short courses follow Tory leader David Cameron's plans outlined this week to give public sector workers the chance to form co-operatives to run educational and health services.

The Social Enterprise and Business Democracy courses at Sheffield Business School are set to start in June and give participants the opportunity to learn about how to run a co-operative for work in the public, private and third sector.

Cameron's plan would give staff members of taxpayer-funded services, such as primary school teachers and nurses, the power to determine how the services are run.

Many companies are becoming more involved in co-operative social enterprise initiatives and use participative democracy to ensure business policies meet the needs of both the workforce and wider community, accomplishing goals that are social and environmental as well as financial.

Course leader Dr Rory Ridley-Duff said the idea of running co-operatives is being embraced beyond the political system.

"This course is a timely and thorough introduction to running a social enterprise and engaging with the concept of business democracy," he said.

"Leaders in the public and private sectors are exploring social enterprise ideas and concepts, and developing ways to meet the social and environmental responsibilities they face. Courses that explore co-operative working and business democracy are still a rarity in higher education, and are highly recommended for individuals and businesses looking to understand the political changes and business opportunities that lie ahead."

To find out more about the one and two-day courses, contact Roland Spencer on 0114 225 5281 or email

To find out more about the new MSc in Social Enterprise and Business democracy, contact Rory Ridley-Duff on (0114) 225 5247 or email

To help students book onto our open day for part-time study, and talk to course leaders about the new course, visit: