- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
Dog handlers Gennine Cope and Sue Yildiz who have launched their own security firm, say the success of Kopek Security, which has grown to a team of more than 120 since launching in March 2018, has surprised even them. The firm earns more each month that it was forecast to turn over in the first year.
Gennine Cope says: “The speed we’ve grown at has really surprised us. We’re ambitious, and we want to be a household name — for all the right reasons — but we thought the expansion would happen further down the line.”
Cope and Yildiz are each trained Level 3 dog handlers, with backgrounds in recruitment and enforcement respectively, and had
worked together on several security contracts.
Sue Yildiz says: “We’d said on a few jobs that things could be done better, and when someone replied, ‘Well, why don’t you two set up a company?’, we looked at each other and thought, ‘Why not?’
“Starting a business as two women in the male-dominated security sector was a massive challenge. But we’re tough, we stuck together and kept to our principles, and now we have a really strong team in place.”
While security dogs and manned guarding are the firm’s core services, other activities like close protection and vehicle escorts have become increasingly important. The firm is attracting plenty of female contractors, as well as clients looking for women in specific security roles.
Pictured from left are Gennine Cope, Sue Yildiz; Gavin Barnett from CW Growth Hub; and holding the sign is Helena Bassett from Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
As for their company name, Sue Yildiz says: “Köpek is Turkish for dog. My husband is Turkish, Gennine’s surname is Cope, and as former dog handlers it seemed the perfect name. Replacing the umlaut with dog ears — on the ‘O’ of the company logo — was the final touch!”
The business, which took a silver award after signing the Armed Forces Covenant, recently launched a new subsidiary with ex-services personnel (over half Kopek’s staff are ex-military) to deliver accredited training.
Gennine Cope says: “It’s been an incredible journey. Now we’re just starting to enjoy it, and there’s lots more to come.”