Kopek Security is the brainchild of two women dog handlers who knew they could go one better
When expert dog handlers Gennine Cope and Sue Yildiz decided to launch their own security firm, they were confident that their experience and professional approach would yield positive results. Yet the success of Kopek Security, which has grown to a team of more than 120 contractors since launching in March 2018, has astonished even them. The firm earns more each month than it was forecast to turn over in the first year.
“The speed we’ve grown at has really surprised us,” says Cope. “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 certainly equipped to succeed. Both are trained Level 3 dog handlers, with backgrounds in recruitment and enforcement respectively, and had worked together on several major security contracts. “We’d said on a few jobs that things could be done better,” says Yildiz, “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.
Cope and Yildiz are understandably proud of the brand. “Köpek is Turkish for dog,” says Yildiz. “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, is not resting on its laurels. It recently launched a new subsidiary with ex-services personnel (over half Kopek’s staff are ex-military) to deliver accredited training.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” says Cope. “Now we’re just starting to enjoy it, and there’s lots more to come.”