This working paper is an output of the research project ‘Understanding Rural Co-operative Resilience: a pilot study’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust from October 2012 to September 2013. The project is a partnership between the Open University and the Co-operative College UK, and the working paper is co-authored by a research associate at each institution. The research project explores whether and in what ways co-operatives are resilient social and economic organisations. By investigating the distinctive nature of the co-operative model, the project aims to provide insights on limiting and enabling factors that might be required for the development of resilience at the level of co-operatives. This working paper includes a general review of the literature as well as literature on the specific case of Uganda, which has experienced a co-operative revival and has been engaging with new models of co-operative organisation.