My name is Stephen Gill, I'm 42 years old and originally from Scotland.
I now live in Malta with my wife and 2 step daughters.
Consumer coops work with VME because they know our software includes everything needed to run a consumer coop, and because VME has proven, over the last 30 years, that we deliver what we promise. As a bonus, because they know the more coops using VME, the lower the price for all consumer coops.
Investors work with Coop Exchange because it allows them to invest ethically by supporting new coops, and it allows everyone, not just the 1%, to participate in the capital growth of new startups.
Platform coops work with Coop Exchange because it allows them to raise the money needed to compete on a level playing field with their competitors.
There are 2 things that I believe strongly in:
Firstly, I believe everyone should have the ability to participate in startup's value growth, not just the 1%. 6 of the top 10 companies in the world were startups only a few years ago - imagine if everyone, not just the privileged few, had been allowed to invest in Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and so on. The distribution of the world's wealth would be much better.
Now imagine if these startups were Coops. Not only would they be creating sustainable, ethical jobs, but they would be run fairly, with one member one vote instead of being run solely for the shareholder's profits.
Thats why I created Coop Exchange.
I have a dream of all the consumer coops using the same technology, allowing coops large or small to properly compete with their competitors. This would be provided by a separate technology coop, owned by these consumer coops. All coops, large or small, would the same vote, ensuring the direction of the company helps all coops, not just the large privileged ones.
That's why I decided to convert my successful technology company VME, into VME Coop.
I want to see new consumer coops created all over the world, because working together there is no reason why coops couldn't have 51% market share, worldwide.
And finally, I want to see third world countries, in particular war torn countries, turn to creating their own consumer coops as the answer instead of large capitalist companies coming in and taking advantage. VME exists to ensure these new community coops have the latest technology, so they can compete if the large capitalist companies decide to setup in their country.