François Rossier our treasurer and I first met during a consulting assignment for GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition). We were both hired separately to promote cooperatives among small scale salt producers in a selected number of countries. My job was to take care of cooperative organization, management, governance, education and training while François was looking after business development and financial aspects. This was back in 2010 and following that assignment we continued to meet in Geneva where we are both based and to share our views on development approaches in general and more specifically on ways and means to make an impact for the people at the bottom of the pyramid.
The more we looked at the issue, the more sense the cooperative model made. The idea of focusing our consulting work on cooperatives and cooperative-type organizations, including Farmers Based Organizations, came about quite naturally.
The advent of the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, with the renewed interest in the subject, sealed it for us and nothing seemed more natural than setting up a cooperative of consultants to support other cooperatives. This was so…coop!
SoCoop is registered in Switzerland as an international cooperative. Our members can be based anywhere in the world. Currently, SoCoop has 8 members who are all development specialists with extensive experience on all continents. Our team is multidisciplinary, as befits an organization dealing with cooperatives, which can be found in all sectors of the economy.
SoCoop has a Board of Directors comprising of three members, of which I am the Chair. As a cooperative, SoCoop adheres to the open door policy and welcomes anyone who can contribute to its objectives. This is an invitation to you to join us and to help us achieve sustainable development through help for self-help. If you find this a worthy cause, please contact us for more information on how to join and we’ll also send you our bylaws. As SoCoop continues to grow, we’ll need all the expertise we can get to face the challenges ahead.
Perhaps more importantly, SoCoop is an alliance-builder and we are constantly exploring synergies with other organizations, in order to help us deliver on our economic and social goals. If you belong to an organization with which SoCoop can collaborate, please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be more than happy and eager to work together.