Co-operative Development Services

South West Co-operative Development Limited, known as SWCD, is a development agency that supports the formation and growth of co-operatives, social enterprises and community businesses. We are passionate about making positive change in the social economy and offer a variety of services to individuals and groups who feel the same. We have helped both individuals and groups to gain assets, finance and sustainable trade; as well as initiating new projects to address the needs and concerns in the community.

If you are looking for help with writing business plans, converting to a co-operative, setting up and registering a society, going through a period of change, or getting the money to start your organisation, please follow the links below to see the different kinds of support we offer.

Start Up Support

SWCD can guide new start up businesses through the processes of registering a legal organisation, creating business plans, deciding which financing options are right for you,and anything else you need to start your business.

Converting to a Co-operative

SWCD can support you through the legal and cultural changes needed to convert your business into a co-operative. We can also work with groups looking to do employee buy outs.

Support for Existing Businesses

We understand that all businesses have hard times, especially recently with large industry and economic changes. We can help with updating business plans, redoing marketing work and feasibility studies, and help to re-engage communities.


SWCD provide a complete registration service for a wide range of legal structures.

We can help make sense of the different legal structures and help you identify the most suitable structure to enable your enterprise to flourish.

We can help you to tailor model rules to suit your needs, both from our own set of model rules or any of the other ones out there.

Raising Finance

Businesses need funding at different phases of their lifetime. SWCD can help in a number of ways: advising on financial models; raising social investment and Community Shares, and support with grant funding. We can also help you write the business plans that will demonstrate your case to potential investors.

Workshops and Networking

We run Workshops and Networking events in the South West to increase awareness of what Co-operatives and Community Businesses are, think about why we should promote them, and learn who else in the area we can work with. These workshops are open to people interested in starting a community businesses as well as anyone working in Economic Development or Business Support.

South West Co-operative Development Limited
Registered as a Community Benefit Society: 31193R
Registered office address:
10 East Reach,
Office phone: 0300 456 2265