...good thinking

About Us

software.coop is a "computer-related services" worker cooperative that benefits its members and the wider community in a sustainable and ethical manner, financially, educationally and otherwise. Our services are described on other pages of this web site. We are called Turo Technology LLP on our legal details (and on payments, please!)

Since its start in 2002, the co-op has been independent and autonomous. By 2011, we have traded with most regions of the UK and about a dozen other countries.

Run for the Benefit of Society

Social Enterprise
Brand Because we don't have external investors, we can care about society in general and not only profit, so we are different from private web companies. In essence, we are doing this to improve the world and the world-wide web by delivering better software while earning a fair living. We describe our links with community groups on our site.

Member of Cooperatives-UK To measure our performance, instead of just looking at financial reports, we currently evaluate ourselves against the Worker Cooperative Code of Governance: in our first year of monitoring (the year ending 2008), we achieved nearly 70% completion and were non-compliant on only one aspect (due to the poor availability of Fairtrade computer hardware). In 2009, we improved this to 72.3%. Our 2011 social report shows a further improvement to 80.2% and is available to interested parties.

We do not support the Social Enterprise Mark Company mark (the yellow coffee mug rings), mainly because we believe all co-ops are social enterprises and their label is not compatible with our cooperative values. We don't show any "professional web developer" labels any more for a similar reason. There seem to be a lot of marks and labels which raise money for their controllers while providing little worthwhile to clients - except higher fees to pay the controllers.

We support the open, friendly, shareable Social Enterprise Brand and encourage users to link their logo to a page like this, that explains how they are a social enterprise and summarises their social performance.

Examples

We publish articles, both in briefing notes and on our blog, that explain aspects of our work.

The Big Ideas?

The following articles on other websites may be useful introductions to the ideas behind a free software cooperative:-

Case Study: Software.coop an LLP

We featured as a case study on a Cooperatives-UK website, with this very nice comment: "It's great way for people who don't want to run a business on their own and want to share this equitably between workers/partners."

freshmeat.net: Open Source COOPs

"How about an Open Source COOP? [...] It would be a place, perhaps donated by a company with strong ties to Open Source or a nonprofit entity such as a University, and would be "staffed" by volunteers who donate time as needed. Such a group could answer questions and help with problems or even go as far as providing some consulting to businesses willing to give Open Source a try, perhaps for a fee or donation"

Other Companies

Other community groups, cooperatives and sympathetic companies.

Our Structure

We are a worker co-operative partnership. Probably the most famous co-operative in the UK at the moment is the Co-operative Group (bank, food shops, and so on) and the most famous worker partnership is John Lewis: basically, we share the same values, but instead of running shops, we make and support websites, library catalogues and other software.

Our members have a wide range of experience and qualifications and our founder members are still involved in the co-op. If you are interested in becoming a member, please see our information about joining.

Listings

These are not endorsements of any kind or direction, but we are or were:

Contact Us

Please email any questions about the company or its products to info at software.coop, (contact us first if you want to use Gnu Privacy Guard or GPG4Win for more secure email), use the web contact form or telephone us on the numbers on the contact form page.