How to set up an urban renewable energy co-operative

Date and time: 5th November 2019, 10am – 4pm
Location: Taunton, venue TBC
Course leader: Alex Lawrie, Somerset Cooperative Services CIC

This introductory course will set you up to initiate, project manage and seek funding for a new co-operative venture to generate and conserve energy. It focuses on practical tasks and working in an urban setting.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Describe the legal status of your project at different stages in the process
  • Plan a series of interventions to generate interest, support and participation from your community
  • Describe your business model and structure a credible business plan
  • Identify your need for specialist and technical support
  • Put together a funding strategy that will deliver the resources to launch the new co-op.

Key resources to cascade to your team:

You will leave the course equipped with clear diagrams to explain how innovative forms of co-operation can work as steady, predictable business enterprises; worksheets for funding and business planning, and information sheets that explain the roles and responsibilities of co-operative directors.

Alex Lawrie is a founder member of two housing co-ops (Cornerstone and Stepping Stones), Footprint Workers Co-operative, the Ecological Land Co-op, GO-OP and Somerset Co-operative Services CIC. He led the team that developed the Somerset Rules, now used by 30 co-operatives. He studied politics at Leeds University, Training Skills at the DSC, and Planning for Real at the Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation. He is a SFEDI accredited social enterprise advisor. He is the author of ‘Empowering the Earth’ (Green Books, 2000) and ‘Simply Finance’ (Co-ops UK, 2011). In 2017 he completed a Masters Degree in Strategy, Change and Leadership at Bristol University.

The support we received was helpful and informative – it’s a pioneering service” West Somerset Community Land Trust