Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is offering £30,000 worth of cash and support to develop new consortium co-operatives in Scotland.
The inaugural Collaboration Prize aims to encourage businesses to consider working with others to form a new consortium co-operative. Co-operatives are collaborative vehicles that play an important role in creating globally competitive businesses. They enable employees, businesses and communities to work together to fulfil shared interests.
CDS is calling for interested parties to pitch an idea for a new consortium co-operative with up to three winning concepts each receiving a cash prize of £5,000 and a further £5,000 of support to get the business off the ground.
First Minister Alex Salmond, who has backed the initiative, said: "I am determined that the Scottish Government does everything possible to get more businesses thinking about how they can work better together, and the Collaboration Prize is a very valuable opportunity.
"I hope the new prize will stimulate new thinking."
With a combined turnover of £4bn and employing around 28,000 people, Scotland's 550 co-operative businesses currently play a key role in driving Scotland's economic growth.
The deadline for entries is 31 July 2012 and winners will be announced later this year in August.
For more information about the Collaboration Prize or Co-operative Development Scotland, please visit: www.scottish-enterprise.com/cds-collaboration-prize or call 0141 951 3055.