Team Update #1, Ben

 

Welcome to the first of our new regular updates from the CoGo team!

Although we’re new in the UK, the idea of CoGo has been evolving for 7 years in New Zealand and as a result of our work 100+ businesses have already adopted new ethical and sustainable practices. Now, with your help, we want to make that 1,000+ in the UK.

The idea for CoGo first started when my best friend and I were doing a masters in environmental studies in 2010 and we wanted it to be easier to find local cafes that were doing good. To solve our problem and help others facing the same issue, we created a range of stickers that businesses could put in their windows to indicate the good things they were doing - recycling, using fair trade coffee and free-range eggs, paying their staff a living wage etc. The stickers did the trick initially, but we quickly realised that an app was a better way forward - it’s a better tool for connecting businesses and consumers, is more scalable and less wasteful.  

As a for purpose start-up, as soon as we knew we’d created a scalable product, we wanted to get out to other locations and start creating more impact in the world.

 
Ben, CoGo Co-Founder and CEO

Ben, CoGo Co-Founder and CEO

After analysing 15 potential markets, the UK ticked the most boxes, so here we are!

Launching in the UK has meant moving my family, including two young daughters, all the way from New Zealand. Since February 2018, I’ve been looking for a house, finding schools, getting a UK bank account etc. alongside running the business in New Zealand and looking for investors to support the UK launch. I finally moved over in August so have just reached the 6-month mark - not sure I can call myself a Londoner yet, but it’s definitely starting to feel more like home!

For me, one of the hardest things about moving to the UK was moving away from my awesome team in New Zealand. Whereas for my daughters, school uniforms have been the big disruptor - they’ve taken a quite a bit of getting used to, but they do make mornings a bit smoother from a parent’s perspective!

The focus of the next two years is on getting CoGo established as a UK-wide business.

Since arriving I’ve loved meeting innovative and passionate business leaders that are driving the ethical business movement here - something that I’ll never tire of! I’ve also enjoyed learning about the potential for open banking to facilitate further impact by allowing consumers to better track their ethical spending habits.

We know that we don't have the right product YET, but with your help, I know we’ll get there.

I encourage you to email me personally at ben@cogo.co to tell me what you think of CoGo so far. As an early adopter, your opinion is gold-dust, so please do reach out!

I look forward to hearing from some of you soon and I’ll be back with another update next month.

Bye for now,

Ben