Shared Interest Foundation was set up by Shared
Interest Society; providing alternative means to achieve the same
It's key role is to raise funds for development projects,
provide training and grants for producers, and develop partnerships
with other charities.
We were registered with the charity commission on 27 February
Our first achievement was to provide support to producers
affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami. This was the pre-cursor to our
current Livelihood Security Fund - emergency support for
Shared Interest Society customers affected by natural disaster.
This fund has gone on to provide assistance for:
- Producers affected by hurricanes which damaged banana and
coffee crops in Windward Isles and Mexico
- Replanting of fruit trees in Pakistan following a
- Flood affected crafts producers in the Philippines and a
cashew nut processor in El Salvador
- A clothing producer in Zimbabwe struggling with economic and
- Replacing laser cutting equipment for a business in Kenya hit
2005 - 2006
Producer training is our mainstay activity. Our first training
was a £17.5k project supporting a Kenyan producer called Mango True
This was closely followed by accountancy training to Gumutindo
Coffee Co-operative in Uganda, jointly funded with Cafedirect.
We facilitated business planning training for Rwandan handcraft
business, Dancing Pots.
We were able to scale up our training. A course in Zimbabwe was
attended by 30 craft producers; and we also ran some group training
in South Africa and Rwanda.
Our training capacity grew further, and in 2008, we provided
training to 167 groups in 7 countries.
It was also in 2008 we received our first major grant - £236k
awarded by Big Lottery Fund to work in Rwanda over 3 years. We not
only provided training for 50 businesses, but helped establish a
support network for them, which we now know as RWAFAT.
We secured further funding of £502k from Comic Relief for a
three year project in Swaziland to work with 135 handcraft
businesses over 3 years, and again, helped establish a business
support organisation, SWIFT.
We developed the Access to Finance programme, focussing on
financial management raining. Partnering with Fairtrade Africa
this will train 150 businesses over 2 years across 5 countries in
East and West Africa. Comic Relief is our key funding partner in
this, enabling us to engage with commodity producers in addition to
We also gained funding from the Commonwealth Foundation for the
first time. A two year peer leading programme will bring
together our partners in Swaziland and Rwanda with representatives
from the Malawi fairtrade network, via Fairtrade Africa.
Celebrating 10 successful years of the Foundation was a moment
for reflection on all that had been achieved. As we focused
increasingly on financial management training for fair trade
businesses, we wanted to ensure that our wider business support
work continued to thrive. We were pleased therefore to be able to
fund a business manager post for our partner RWAFAT in Rwanda to
ensure their continued development. This was especially important
in the year that marked the 20th anniversary of the
We also received news that Comic Relief would provide £428k of
funding for a second project in Swaziland to help our partner SWIFT
to transition over 4 years into a financially sustainable business
We were delighted to be "Highly Commended" by the Charity Awards in 2014 in
recognition of the quality of our work in Swaziland. We were then
privilidged to be shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards in
To the future
Working alongside Shared Interest Society and other social
lenders, we're continuing to understand more about the
financial training and technical assistance that is both needed and
We hope you're encouraged by how far we've come - and by
the success of what we've achieved together.
Thank you for your continued support.