Our mission is to promote the application of international co-operative principles, to help people establish new social enterprises and to enable social enterprises to work together to be financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. We aim to provide high quality services to our user members and secure, fairly rewarded work to our worker members. We offer specialist support to co-operatives, particularly those bringing different groups together and those that make measurable impacts on the reduction of carbon emissions.

IYC 2012 SFEDI Accredited Business Adviser Co-operatives UK Member

Somerset Co-operative Services publishes CIC version of the Somerset Rules

As an addition to the revised Somerset Rules, recently launched by Somerset Co-operative Services, we are proud to announce the publication of the CIC Somerset Rules 2012. Like other Community Interest Companies, the Multistakeholder Co-operative (CIC) Rules offer all the advantages of a regular CIC, including an asset lock, as well as democratic voting - one member one vote, different classes of user and non-user members, social accounting and provision for a commonwealth council. Please download the Rules below or contact alex@somerset.coop for further information.

The Somerset Rules - some examples

The Somerset Rules 2012 - newly revised and updated - are a unique set of I&PS
Model Rules for a multi-stakeholder co-operative, combining the accountability and
democracy of co-ops with the social reporting and investment opportunities
associated with social enterprise.
If you are registering a social enterprise, consider using these new rules. They have a number of
advantages that you may benefit from:
• different stakeholder groups can have a balanced voice in the business

New Revised Rules are approved!

Somerset Co-operative Services is delighted to be able to tell the world that the new, revised and improved Somerset Rules 2012 have been approved by the FSA and Co-operatives UK, and are now available for registration.

Below you can download the new Rules for inspection, along with a document highlighting the main changes.

The biggest change is that amendments should no longer be necessary - a range of options now permits a choice of arrangements to suit every circumstance.

Please contact us for details of registration process and costs.

Promote Your Community Share Issue

When issuing IPS withdrawable shares, there is normally an exemption from regulation available. However, to be
confident of staying within the law, we always recommend:

There's never been a better time to join a Co-operative

than this the International Year of Co-operatives! More and more people are discovering the potential of the co-operative business model - and through the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, Somerset Co-operative Services can help you achieve your dreams and help you build a better world.

Happy International Year of Co-operatives!

Welcome to the International year of Co-operatives!

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2012 will see a year-long schedule of activities to raise the profile of co-operatives during the United Nations' International Year of Co-operatives.

Across the world, co-operators and co-operatives will come together to celebrate with hundreds of activities planned to promote the co-operative voice.

Good Fuel: the lessons to be learnt

At the end of 2010, Good Fuel Co-operative ceased trading. This was a co-op that we had spent considerable time working with and we felt it was important to understand the reasons why it failed - both to learn from for the future, and to explain to the many social investors who lost money. This is the report that emerged from that, and we hope it proves instructive for co-operators working in fast-moving industries, raising share capital from investors, and investing in large production facilities.

When is a co-operative a co-operative?

There is no UK legal definition of a co-operative - until now the only way we can say whether or not an organisation is a true co-operative is by trying to assess to what extent it complies with 7 International Co-operative Principles. In practice this can be difficult - you can easily say whether the one person one vote rule applies - but how do you measure co-operation between co-operatives, or education? Now Co-ops UK has produced a paper that attempts to develop practical tools for defining co-operatives.

Co-operatives Fortnight 2011 - come and share Breakfast with us at our Co-operative Business Breakfasts

To celebrate Co-ops Fortnight 2011 Somerset Co-operative Services is hosting 3 Co-operative Business Breakfasts in Chard, Glastonbury and Taunton, to enable co-operators and those interested in finding out about co-operatives to network, share information, discuss collaboration and enjoy a delicious healthy continental breakfast.

We aim to start about 9am and end around 10.30, so that busy people can take time out to network, before getting on with other activities.

Venues and dates:

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