(SOL.CO. FINANZA, une coopérative de financement en appui au Consortium des coopératives sociales d’inspiration catholique de Brescia)
07 / 1993
Solcofinanza is a "cassa mutua cooperativa" active in the Brescia area. It is a Sol.co. initiative, coordinating 72 solidarity and social work cooperatives. The purpose of Solcofinanza is to promote saving amongst its members and then to lend the money to member organizations. It has over 60 members in the Brescia province. Their aim is to develop a small independent financial network supporting solidarity and social work cooperatives in their management and development activities. Members participating in the savings scheme get very high interest rates - 9.2% for the six months’ term or 8.3% for normal deposits - and financial support for their personal investments, e.g. buying a house, getting married etc.
Money is used as loans for solidarity and social projects. As well as the activities of Solcofinanza (the financial tool), Sol.co (the consortium of the social cooperatives in Brescia)is able to offer a number of integral services concerning: computerization, consultancy on various issues and support in creating job opportunities for underprivileged people. Computer fiscal and administrative consultancy are the most common activities. Proceeds from services and consultancy work in the budget of SOL.CO., hqd reached 4.200 Million lire (around 2.8 millions US $)by mid 1992.
On the basis of the experience gained in these years Sol.co has also expanded its consultancy work to include training and human resources management activities such as: psychological and social training, personnel management, analysis of target groups’ needs, research, recruitment and training of new staff. A specific sector has been developed for research and analysis for groups and areas needing support. Various training courses have been set up in cooperation with organizations working with underprivileged groups.
From a financial point of view Solcofinanza is a very important structure. Based upon an existing network it is able to reach thousands of individual members and hundreds of cooperatives and social enterprises. It has developed very reliable loan mechanisms for small enterprises. Loans to individual members have just begun and should be assessed in the near future.
Translated by Alessio Surian
DAVICO, Luca, IRED NORD, 1993 (ITALY)
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