Kathy Hopkin Joins Co-operative Futures and the USE-IT! Programme

Co-operative Futures are pleased to welcome Kathy Hopkin to the organisation, and to the USE IT! Programme. USE IT! is an exciting and innovative programme to create a new ‘place-based’ community of social entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals who want effect positive change in their local neighbourhoods. Kathy is joining the programme as Social Enterprise Advisor, and will be responsible for providing support to existing and start-up community businesses in the area, as well as enabling local residents to access work experience placements within existing social enterprises.

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‘The Solution Lies in the Problem’: A Reflection on Worm Composting, Community Business and the ‘Making Places Last’ Conference

Flashback to July 2017: I was invited by my friend Malcolm Currie (co-operator and chair of Uplands Co-operative Allotments Association) to attend a monthly gathering called Green Drinks. Over dinner, Malcolm invited each person to share a bit about their involvement in the ‘green’ movement. I mentioned something about my fascination with worm composting, and about our residents’ association experimenting with how worms can help us ‘flip the food waste equation’ into a practical solution.

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Research says the USE-IT! area is fertile ground for social businesses

What does the latest research tell us about what makes community business successful, and about its impacts on the local area?  And what might we conclude about the parts of Birmingham and Sandwell that make up the USE-IT! programme area?

There are a couple of interesting studies commissioned by Power to Change, the independent community business support trust organisation, published in August and September this year.  The first, The impact of community business on local communities[1], takes a snapshot view of community businesses in six places around the UK.  The second, Neighbourhood economic models[2], looks at the factors that promote successful community business.

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“Food Fit for All”: Modified Foods as a Market Opportunity

Recently I was catching up with a friend who had just come back from holiday in the USA. After describing the highlights of the sightseeing and natural beauty, she told me about an unexpected highlight from here trip: going to a “Cat Café.” That’s right: a café that serves coffee drinks with the ‘added value’ of customers getting to hang out with cats.

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