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What We Do

We see the world as it could be

Shared Interest was set up in 1990 and brings together a community of over 12,000 people in the UK with a shared goal of investing in a fairer world. We work hand in hand with people in communities where income opportunities may be limited and businesses are facing increasing challenges.

We act co-operatively, providing finance to fair trade businesses in up to 45 countries. The majority of these organisations support smallholder farmers who produce around a third of the world’s food but often struggle to feed their families.

We use the investments of our members to make loans to organisations of farmers and craftspeople as well as some fair trade buyers. The loans typically fund seeds, plants, materials, crops, equipment or finished goods. Once the crops or crafts are sold, the organisation repays Shared Interest the capital plus a fair rate of interest. The funds can then be recycled and lent out again.

By opening a Share Account you are investing in withdrawable shares in Shared Interest Society. Your investment is at risk due to the nature of the businesses that we support so you should never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Your ethical investment will not make you rich but it will enrich the lives of others.

In 2022, our members helped support almost 400,000 producers and craftspeople to trade and earn a living.

Image: TradeAID Integrated, basket weaver, Akolgo Abaah holds harvested vegetables grown using soiless farming.

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EDUCE Founder and Managing Director Miguel Ángel Munguìa said:

“Financing (from Shared Interest) has been key to increasing volume and growing.”

An ethical investment

Our loans and credit facilities ensure that fair trade farmers are paid on time for their crops.

Our finance helps handcraft organisations to buy raw materials, and enables co-operatives to prefinance orders from their overseas buyers. 

We lend to organisations that follow Fair Trade Principles, to support products such as coffee, fresh fruit, nuts, and cocoa, as well as handcrafts such as weaved baskets and furniture.

This year we supported 204 organisations in 45 countries.

Image: Edelmina Suarez, member of CECANOR, photographed while harvesting coffee at a farm in Peru.

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