somos & our co-ownership model

at somos, we're proud to be community-backed! with 23 investors participating in our pre-seed fundraising round, we've built a strong foundation that values equity ownership for the team, teachers, and grassroots community organizations.

together, we're forging a future built on co-ownership and collaboration. 🌟

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  • 2,500 shares

    were put aside at the pre-seed funding stage to allot to our five core community partners (represented 0.5% each as at december 2021). these shares give our partners the same financial and voting rights as the founder and investors have. 

  • 1% of gmv

    will be donated to our five core community partners annually (0.2% each). we've chosen a % of gross merchandising value instead of profits so that our users know that every single purchase from day 1 will result in a donation to our partners

  • 30,000 shares

    have been put in an initial option pool for somos employees and teachers. we recognise the importance of long term security and want to give teachers every incentive to make somos the best place to grow their business. find out more.  

community driven governance

somos is a for-profit social enterprise and edtech startup. our governing documents require us to take our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders into equal consideration when making decisions. 

purpose

at somos, we believe in empowering language teachers to earn a fair wage, accessible language education, and fighting for language, migrant & worker rights.

directors' duties

unlike most for-profit companies, somos needs to think beyond the needs of its shareholders and also consider all stakeholders and the wider community in its behaviour and decision making. 

responsible business principles

somos is committed to operating in line with its responsible business principles. which emphasize ethical practices, social responsibility, and sustainability. 

reporting

we produce an annual report to track our progress towards our community commitments.

innovation

we strive to be both innovative and culturally intelligent in our operations, and value the growth and development of our team. 

accountability

our community partners have the same financial and voting rights as our investors, giving them direct shareholder power and holding us accountable to our community-focused mission.

frequently asked questions

a unique set up comes with questions! here are some common ones but of course if you have more, please feel free to get in touch 😀 

  • which community organisations will somos be partnering with?

    our first community co-owner is the incredible conversation over borders! you can find out more about our partnership here .

    in the coming months, we'll be adding other amazing orgs focused on:

    🔹 championing language, worker, and migrant rights
    🔹 promoting education and lifelong learning
    🔹 preserving endangered, minoritized, and indigenous languages
    🔹 empowering refugees and migrants in diaspora. 

    stay tuned for our announcements!

  • why is somos making its community partners shareholders?

    great question! we believe in aligning our long-term future with the communities we serve.

    if somos thrives, we want to share that success with the grassroots organizations doing amazing work in language, culture, and people protection. 🤝

    traditional csr and diversity and inclusion programs can be pretty top-down. we're all about building with, not just for, the communities we work in.

    by giving our partners shares with the same financial and voting rights as our other investors, we're making sure we stay directly accountable to them.

    it's about collaboration and shared success! 🌟

  • Is somos a not for profit?

    nope, somos is actually a for-profit social enterprise! 🚀

    while we do aim to make a profit, what sets us apart is our commitment to co-ownership and creating a positive impact on society.

    our unique ownership model allocates equity to our team, teachers and grassroots community organizations, making them part of the somos project.

    our governing documents require us to consider key stakeholders like employees, partners, and the wider community when making decisions. so, while we're a business, we're all about balancing profit, purpose, and shared ownership! 💡

  • does somos work with community groups and charities other than its core partners?

    absolutely! we're always excited to collaborate with organizations that align with our mission, especially those focused on: 

    1️⃣ teaching or facilitating the learning of endangered, minoritized & indigenous languages 

    2️⃣ supporting refugees and migrants in diaspora (e.g., offering free local language classes, protecting rights, etc.)

    3️⃣ broadening access to digital education

    4️⃣ promoting mental health and wellbeing.

    if you're a charity or community organization interested in working with us or think our platform could help you, please don't hesitate to get in touch

    we'd love to chat and explore possibilities together. 🌍💫

teach languages online? see how we can support you!

we're an edtech startup on a mission to help language teachers earn & live well.

if you've taught languages online with platforms like preply, italki, and cambly, we'd love to hear from you!

help us build the teaching platform you want from the ground up. 🌍