Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has announced it will invest £200,000 over the next three years into developing collaboration services for businesses.
The funds will help augment its existing Consortium development services, which offer consultancy to help businesses develop their collaborative proposition, by adding additional specialist resources for strategically important ventures.
CDS will also establish two new services: Collaborate to Export, aimed at helping businesses harness the benefits of collaboration to take their products or services into international markets; and Best Practice in Collaboration which will provide specialist support to help established collaborations with growth potential to improve operational effectiveness.
These services are set to launch later in the year after an initial period of research and development.
According to a recent independent impact report by ekosgen, 58% of surveyed businesses participating in new collaborative projects reported there was stronger leadership in their member organisations after joining a consortium, while 54% noted an increased confidence to trade. Almost four fifths attributed joining a consortium to increased local performance.
CDS director, Sarah Deas, said: “As competition for talent, resources and business across many sectors continues to rise, businesses are finding it necessary to look at new ways of tackling old challenges, and business collaboration can be the secret ingredient by enabling access to new ideas, assets and the combined strength which a collaborative venture offers.
“For SMEs looking to increase productivity, collaboration is increasingly a must-have, not a nice to have, which is why we’re developing new services. We aim to work with businesses across all sectors to promote collaboration in a way which drives profit and innovation.”
CDS’s collaboration offering is aimed at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), for which the research reveals collaboration is not only beneficial, but increasingly an imperative in the face of rising global competition.