The Cooperatives and Social Enterprise sectors have emerged to become very important parts of the chequered history of business innovations, growth and development, upon which modern societies have substantially relied upon by successive governments, in the socialism and capitalism practices across the world, and in the desperate attempt to keep to their promises of meeting the unending yearnings and aspirations of ever-increasing and explosive global population. The continuously widening gap between government employment opportunities and those eligible for gainful employment has necessitated more creative alternatives to ensure survival and sustenance. These attendant challenges have led to the dangerous search, illegal and doubtful foray for the proverbial “greener pastures” in foreign lands, under very debilitating conditions that have resulted into fatalities for many.
The Certified Institute of Cooperatives and Social Enterprise Management is a professional body set up to cater for the needs of both governmental and non-governmental Cooperative Societies/Groups, other not-for-profit establishments, such as Social Entrepreneurs, Churches, Mosques, Foundations, Innovation and Social Works, Charity and Voluntary organizations, et cetera, that are in dire need of such specialists. What the Institute’s professional members offer puts its patrons and beneficiaries in superior stead for better services delivery and the achievement of their organizational goals. The Institute has designed a new career path for the discerning and thus taken the bold step to create an uncommon avenue for the teeming population to get refocused for more creative and novel strategies that will create opportunities for better emancipation of the people. This effort is projected to directly and indirectly impact about 15-25 million people in the first 5 years. In the light of this, it has become imperative to have a professionally trained and capacity enhanced personnel base that will be saddled with the enormous task of managing the offshoots of the enormous resources that will be deployed over this period. A new paradigm will be defined, as a result.
The Accelerated and Direct Membership Programme
In the light of the foregoing, The Institute has embarked on an Accelerated and Direct Membership programme that will immediately equip about 50,000 professionals who will become the linkages of professional services delivery to Cooperatives and Social Enterprise individuals, groups and organisations. The Institute is already reaching out for collaborations and partnerships with bodies of similar ideology, or related perspectives, across the world for mutually beneficial synergies, as well as government agencies at all levels, grants establishments for funding of local efforts, etc.
We service organizations and groups that have been set up to operate for the good of humanity, especially voluntary organizations, etc. Usually, these are set up to help, promote and support the needy in the society; they are recognized as such and referred to as “not-for-profit”. Some of the services include:
· Training and Empowerment: Provision of qualitative training, and retraining for the professional empowerment of members to assist clients with operational compliance with extant laws.
· Secretarial and Accounting: Provide to clients the services of incorporation of relevant organizations, preparation of documents of registration, reconciliation of records, preparation of financial statements, filing of annual and other statutory returns, keeping of records, conduct of meetings and writing of minutes of meetings, inspection activities, etc.
· Regulatory Compliance: Collaboration with clients, such as Cooperative Societies, Churches, Mosques, Cultural Groups, Voluntary Organisations, , Foundations, Charity Organisations, Clubs, Associations, other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Not-For-Profit (NFP) establishments, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the regulatory authorities through compliance with laws regulating such establishments, in such manner that facilitates harmonious relationships and avoidance of unnecessary distractions and disruptions to their operations.
· Advisory: Where members and clients need mentorship, professional and guided direction, these are provided with ease. Such services include, but not limited to feasibility studies, business plans, investment, business failures, personnel recruitment, bidding and quotes for jobs, financial, credit management, debt recovery, conflict and disputes resolution, etc.
· Access to Very Cheap Funds: Empowerment of clients through the access to and use of financial market instruments for long term investments, especially in the dilution of costs of capital by the access to cheap funds available at the various tiers of the Capital Market, thereby diversifying the Stock Exchange; and where no appropriate instruments exist, creatively develop them.
· Information Sharing: Generation and distribution of information to members, for vital decision making and collective capabilities of individual members for enhanced group benefits, through a systematically designed and reliable database management system for industry use of all stakeholders for effective planning and organization.
· Policy Direction: Sponsorship and pursuit of crucial policies that deepens the receivable benefits of joint efforts, through enlightening conferences, seminars, workshops and other activities for maximum impacts.
· Poverty Elimination: Significantly reduce the rates of poverty and unemployment, and its ultimate impacts across Nigeria by deliberate actions of engagement of the generality of the people for economic pursuits through skills acquisition programmes.
· Research: Research efforts and outcomes that significantly impact society are funded and promoted.
· Partnerships: Exploration of economies of scale and opportunities for members’ benefit with local, state, national and international bodies, agencies and organisations for the achievement of the stated objectives.· Social and Industrial: Promotion of industrial stability and social harmony for Cooperatives and Social Enterprises to thrive.