Our Timeline

1986

Mark Hayes, investment manager at 3i, contacted Richard Adams, Managing Director Traidcraft with a proposal for a Development Bank

1990

Shared Interest founded and registered as an Industrial and Provident Society, with Mark Hayes as its first Managing Director

Board and Council established

1991

First Shared Interest staff team appointed

First direct investments made to a trading subsidiary of OXFAM Canada, Traidcraft plc, and a Huddersfield-based importer of Peruvian craft products

1992

£1m Share Capital achieved in November

1992

Largest direct investment to date, £85,000 to Traidcraft plc

1993

New premises: 31 Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

1994

£5m Share Capital achieved

1995

£10m Share Capital achieved

1996

Share Capital: £12.5m

1997

New offices in Collingwood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne opened by Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development

Shared Interest IFAT Clearing House established

Share Capital: £14.9m

1998

Within a year of establishing the Clearing House, nine producers had drawn on their account and borrowed £57,000

1999

Emerging Producer Scheme and Term Loans for producers were added to the range of financial products offered through the Clearing House

2000

Mark Hayes stepped down from the Board of Shared Interest

Board set a revised minimum interest rate of 0% (previously 1% reflecting the drop of the UK base rate to below 4%).  From December interest rate to members was 0%.

2001

Pilot study into lending more to coffee producers prepared which led to a collaboration with the World Bank's International Task Force

Shared Interest extended its Clearing House products to FLO certified Fairtrade producers

2003

50th edition of Quarterly Return published

Shared Interest set up its charity arm, Shared Interest Foundation

Share Capital: £17.7m

2004

Shared Interest increased its lending to coffee producers

2005

Plan to set up an overseas office in both Kenya and Costa Rica approved by the Board

First set of social accounts prepared for Shared Interest

2006

Patricia Alexander appointed as Managing Director

Staff recruited in Kenya and Costa Rica

First producer training project undertaken by Shared Interest Foundation

Producer lending more than £1m

Share Capital: £20.5m

2007

Strategic review defined by a refreshed mission, vision and values statement

2008

Foundation awarded a large grant by the Big Lottery Fund to train fair trade producers in Rwanda

Possibility lending might be constrained by available share capital

Awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise

2009

Staff recruited in Peru

Shared Interest Foundation now trained 167 producer groups and over 250 people in seven countries

Share Capital more than £26m

2010

20th Anniversary Year

8,800 investors

Shared Interest Book is published, with proceeds going to Shared Interest Foundation

Comic Relief award the Foundation over £500,000 to fund business skills training in Swaziland

Increase in direct lending to producers

2011

Plans to open a regional office in Ghana are approved 

Shared Interest now makes payments of over £39m to 63 countries

31 members of staff work at Newcastle Head Office

2012

Office opened in West Africa

Secure Area for members is launched

First Volunteer Survey sent out

2013

Awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise for the second time

More money out on loan to producers than buyers

Recruited a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in East Africa

Representative employed in Costa Rica

2014

£30m Share Capital achieved

2015

Awarded the Third Sector Award for Enterprise

2016

£36m Share Capital achieved