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Position Overview: 

As a Cooperative Society Coordinator at SME Financial Grants, you will have a critical role in driving the success and sustainable development of cooperative societies within the organization’s grant programs. Your primary responsibility will be to provide guidance, support, and coordination to cooperative society members, empowering them to maximize the impact of their initiatives. You will work closely with the grant management team, cooperative societies, and relevant stakeholders to facilitate capacity building, ensure compliance, foster networking opportunities, and drive positive change in the communities served.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Cooperative Society Development and Support:

    • Facilitate the establishment and registration of cooperative societies, guiding them through the necessary legal requirements and organizational guidelines. This includes assisting with the preparation of documentation, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and registration forms.
    • Conduct comprehensive needs assessments to identify areas where cooperative societies require support and develop customized strategies to address their specific needs. This may involve analyzing their business models, operational challenges, market opportunities, and potential for growth.
    • Provide guidance and assistance to cooperative societies in developing business plans, governance structures, and cooperative bylaws that align with best practices and grant program objectives. This includes offering advice on organizational structure, decision-making processes, and accountability mechanisms.
  2. Capacity Building and Training:

    • Design and deliver capacity-building programs, training workshops, and knowledge-sharing sessions tailored to the unique needs of cooperative society members. These programs may cover topics such as financial management, marketing strategies, value chain development, cooperative governance, leadership skills, and entrepreneurship.
    • Collaborate with internal and external trainers, subject matter experts, and resource persons to develop high-quality training materials and resources. This may involve designing training modules, creating interactive learning activities, and sourcing relevant case studies and best practices.
    • Support cooperative societies in areas such as financial management, marketing strategies, value chain development, cooperative governance, and leadership skills. This includes conducting training needs assessments, developing training plans, and providing ongoing mentoring and coaching to cooperative society members.
  3. Compliance and Reporting:

    • Ensure cooperative societies comply with relevant regulations, policies, and reporting requirements. This involves staying updated on legal frameworks, cooperative laws, and compliance standards specific to the countries and regions where the cooperative societies operate.
    • Monitor the progress of cooperative society projects funded by SME Financial Grants, ensuring adherence to grant agreements and milestones. This includes regular check-ins with cooperative society members, site visits, and reviewing project deliverables.
    • Collect, analyze, and summarize relevant data and reports from cooperative societies to facilitate performance evaluation and impact assessment. This information will contribute to monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the grant programs and identifying areas for improvement.
  4. Networking and Partnership Development:

    • Build and nurture relationships with external stakeholders, including government agencies, industry associations, financial institutions, and development organizations. This includes attending meetings, conferences, and events to promote collaboration and identify opportunities for partnership.
    • Identify and facilitate strategic partnerships and collaborations that can benefit cooperative societies, such as access to markets, financing opportunities, technical expertise, and mentorship. This involves leveraging existing networks, conducting outreach activities, and negotiating agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).
    • Represent SME Financial Grants and cooperative societies at relevant meetings, conferences, and events to promote networking, knowledge sharing, and best practice exchange. This includes delivering presentations, participating in panel discussions, and showcasing the achievements and impact of cooperative societies.
  5. Communication and Documentation:

    • Serve as the primary point of contact and support for cooperative society members, addressing their inquiries, concerns, and requests for assistance in a timely and professional manner. This may involve responding to emails, phone calls, and organizing meetings to provide guidance and support.
    • Maintain accurate records and documentation related to cooperative society activities, including membership lists, financial records, meeting minutes, and legal documents. This includes developing and maintaining an organized database or filing system to ensure easy access to information.
    • Prepare regular reports on the progress, achievements, challenges, and impact of cooperative societies, ensuring effective communication within the organization and with external stakeholders. These reports may include financial summaries, project updates, success stories, and recommendations for future actions.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics, cooperative management, or a related field. A master’s degree is advantageous.
  • Proven experience in working with cooperatives, community development programs, or similar initiatives, preferably in a coordinating or advisory capacity. Experience in the grant management or philanthropic sector is a plus.
  • In-depth knowledge of cooperative principles, governance structures, and legal frameworks. Familiarity with cooperative laws and regulations specific to the countries and regions of operation is highly desirable.
  • Familiarity with financial management, marketing strategies, and business planning within the cooperative sector. Knowledge of value chain development, market linkages, and sustainable business practices is advantageous.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and facilitation skills to engage effectively with diverse stakeholders, including cooperative society members, government officials, donors, and partner organizations.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities to identify challenges, recommend appropriate solutions, and drive continuous improvement in the grant programs and cooperative societies supported.
  • Proficiency in documentation and report writing, ensuring clarity, accuracy, and adherence to organizational standards. Experience in preparing comprehensive reports, including financial analysis and impact assessment, is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, and manage multiple projects simultaneously, while maintaining attention to detail and meeting deadlines.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, maintaining a structured approach to work and delivering results efficiently.
  • Passionate about fostering cooperation, community development, and social impact, with a strong commitment to the values and mission of SME Financial Grants.

Note: This expanded job description provides a comprehensive overview of the responsibilities and qualifications associated with the Cooperative Society Coordinator position at SME Financial Grants. It reflects the organization’s commitment to supporting cooperative societies, driving impact, and empowering communities. This job description is further tailored to align with the specific context, grant programs, and objectives of the cooperative societies supported by SME Financial Grants.

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