The Co-operative and Social Enterprise Development Agency (CASE) celebrated 30 years of success on Wednesday 26 September.
30 years ago, and then known as Leicester and County CDA (LCCDA), the agency was established to set up and promote co-operative working in the City and County. Renamed in 2002 to reflect the growing importance of the third sector which incorporates social enterprises and co-operatives, CASE has lived up to its maxim of “change the way you work” by supporting over 500 organisations in becoming successful businesses in their own right.
The Pearl anniversary event was celebrated at Leicester’s New Walk Museum & Art Gallery by co-operatives, friends and clients.
Special speakers on the night included Leicester’s deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Mustafa Kamal who gave the opening speech on the night. Ed Mayo, Secretary General for Co-operatives UK introduced the premiere of a short film, commissioned to mark the occasion.
Mr Mayo commented, “Historically, Leicester has strong connections to the early co-operative movement and the city and county has been fortunate that an independent Agency, which is itself a workers’ co-operative, has provided a first class advice and support service to encourage a new generation to seek alternative ways of providing jobs and services locally.”
Dorothy Francis, Chief Executive of CASE said, “In 30 years, CASE has become a successful and professional organisation with a well-known network of business management experts that provide start up enterprises with the skills and knowledge to succeed in business.”
“Unlike other businesses where the focus is on creating businesses for the founder members, co-operatives and social enterprises share a common goal – to work for the benefit of the community in which we live.”
In addition to the speeches, guests were treated to live performances from local arts co-operatives and perused exhibitions showcasing the products, wares and services of local co-operatives.