OK, so potentially this may open a whol can o' worms, but wanted to see about exploring some of the thinking and arguments about the role of co-operatives in the social enterprise movement (something i was asked to address a few national onferences on a few years back...)
but, as a starting point, I want to askare co-operative businesses being held back by poor support based on expectations of what they can/should be able to achieve? http://bit.ly/cVB7a6 (opens as pdf)
this seems to chime with a previous post of mine here on why you shouldn't trust your business advisor, and also strengthens the case for the resurgence of dedicated co-op enterprise support (via the regional 'hubs' sponsored by the Co-operative Group) http://www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub/
Spot on Shaun. Weapons systems and co-operation are mutually exclusive (see - for example - the ICA's founding values as listed in the link of "social responsibility and caring for others".
Co-operatives are much misunderstood and in my view, offer the gold standard for truly responsible business, with responsibility enshrined (through their shared values & principles) in their corporate DNA.
And as such, I believe co-operation is a commitment way beyond other "wiggle room" loose concepts such as corporate social responsibility & social enterprise.
You are either responsible, or you are not. In our view, you could not be a socially or corporately socially responsible missile manufacturer, which is why the co-operative movement wouldn't have you if you made missiles... if you see what I mean!