Shared Interest works in partnership on an international level with organisations that share our values. These partnerships help us make meaningful contributions towards the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Working towards these goals gives purpose to our partnerships and helps demonstrate how we are part of the wider movement towards ending global poverty. Below are two examples of how partnerships help us contribute to specific SDGs.
Case study: Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF)
The Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) describes itself as ‘an alliance of social lending institutions’, focusing on agricultural businesses in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
CEO, Brian Milder said:
“Shared Interest was one of seven founding members to form CSAF in 2012 and hosted the first meeting in Newcastle upon Tyne.
“Since then, Shared Interest has played an active role in CSAF. Head of Lending, Malcolm Curtis, is our representative. Malcolm has also served on the committee selecting new members.
“There are now 12 members, who work to promote industry standards and best practices when lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in the agriculture. Working towards these goals gives purpose to our partnerships and helps demonstrate how we are part of the wider sector globally (including producer organisations).
“CSAF promotes market growth, responsible lending practices, and social and environmental impact. I think SDG 1 is most aligned with our work, although there is a link across six in total.
“Lending amongst CSAF members has doubled over the past five years. Some of this is unrelated to CSAF but I do believe our public profile, and the shared learning and collaboration within the group, has contributed to this growth.”
Case study: World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) focusses on both social enterprise and fair trade to put the interests of workers, farmers and artisans first. WFTO prescribes 10 Fair Trade Principles that organisations must follow in their day-to-day work and carries out monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld. Shared Interest is one of WFTO’s 412 members, and one of the longest serving. This year, we delivered financial management training to other members at the WFTO 15th International Fair Trade Summit in Lima.
Chief Executive, Erinch Sahan said:
“The WFTO is a community of innovative entrepreneurs from over 70 countries. What I love most about this network of organisations is that, unlike other commercial businesses, they are truly mission-led and there is genuine collaboration between them. As fair trade organisations, they want each other to thrive. As Chief Executive, it is a fantastic experience to work with businesses who share their success stories as well as their failures and carry a true sense of authenticity, which I think is becoming more and more important to consumers these days.
“I believe that members of the WFTO embrace Fair trade in everything they do. It is not about one product line, or one ingredient; these are businesses that have shaped their identity around benefitting farmers and workers. They are truly showing what business can look like when they put people and planet first.
“As a WFTO member itself and by financing fair trade enterprises (i.e. WFTO members), Shared Interest is pioneering a hopeful vision for a better world, full of businesses that put people and planet first. Thank you for being part of a global movement that is making the world a fairer place.”