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Shared Interest receives third Queen's Award

THIRD QUEEN'S AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Shared Interest has been recognised for its track record in sustainable development by receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise at an official ceremony attended by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Tyne & Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield CVO, OBE on Thursday 10 March.

Staff and stakeholders of the organisation gathered at Spanish City in North Tyneside, for a formal presentation of what is the most prestigious UK award for outstanding business performance.  Shared Interest’s overseas team joined the event virtually from Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya and Peru.

Lord-Lieutenant Mrs Susan Winfield said: “It was a pleasure to present Shared Interest with their Queen’s Award for Enterprise. It is worthy recognition of the organisation’s continued ethical and social motivation to alleviate poverty by enabling people in remote and disadvantaged communities to trade and earn a living. My congratulations to all members of the team who have achieved this Award.’’

Shared Interest Society uses investment from over 10,000 UK individuals to provide trade finance to fair trade businesses in 49 countries.  It is the third time that the social lender has received the coveted Queen’s Award in the Sustainable Development category.

Managing Director Patricia Alexander said: “Being awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the third time makes this a very special honour. Having received an award in the Sustainable Development category in 2008, and 2013, we felt that recognition again in 2020, in our 30th anniversary year, was an exceptional achievement.  We have since become an advocate of the awards, as a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Champion.  

“Today also feels particularly poignant as it marks the entire UK team meeting in person for the first time in two years.  Sadly, our overseas colleagues are not able to be with us as travel restrictions continue but thanks to technology, they have been able to be part of the ceremony.  An organisation can only be successful with the right people involved, and although based in the UK, Shared Interest has a brilliant international team behind it.

“We would not be here today at all without the support of our UK membership.  They continue to be extremely loyal and have supported us throughout the pandemic. 

“This year, investment increased by £4.6m, which is the highest amount recorded in the Society’s history, to bring the Share Capital total to £50.7m at the end of the year.  This investment is vital as the communities we support are facing more complex challenges, including the impact of climate change.  We place significant importance on raising awareness of the environmental and economic challenges faced by farmers and the innovative solutions they implement. 

“Access to finance is one of the most powerful tools businesses can have right now, so that they can keep supply chains moving and make sound decisions for the future.”

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