Believing business breaks barriers
Everyone deserves the chance to provide for themselves and their families.
As the sister charity of Shared Interest Society, we share a mission “to provide financial services and business support to make livelihoods and living standards better for people as they trade their way out of poverty.”
Established in 2004, Shared Interest Foundation aims to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods through the development of sustainable businesses. We work with community groups to build resilient enterprises, increase employment opportunities and implement innovative methods of sustainable production.
Working in partnership with local organisations, we implement projects that aim to:
- Strengthen the resilience and sustainability of co-operatives, which support thousands of farmers and artisans.
- Increase the business and agricultural skills of producers and artisans to improve the quality and quantity of their product and increase their resilience to climate change.
- Support the development of sustainable income generating enterprises to improve livelihoods and contribute towards a reduction in poverty with a focus on empowering women and youth.
We believe that strong and well-managed businesses create employment opportunities and increase the income of their producers and workers, resulting in the improvement in their quality of life.
Visit our projects page to read about our current projects in East and West Africa and South America.
What we do
Thanks to our supporters, we have worked with organisations in Africa and Latin America to build their climate resilience, and delivered projects aimed at increasing gender equality and the involvement of young people in agriculture and product diversification.
Over the past year, we have implemented 12 projects, helping develop pioneering initiatives to generate vital income for rural communities. Overall, this involved 2,365 farmers across seven countries. It included training and mentoring for over 1,000 farmers in East Africa to produce their own organic fertiliser and working with an established coffee co-operative in Uganda to produce passion fruit.
In Peru, we worked with farmers to create an eco-friendly method to protect their coffee plants and produce compost from natural waste, including coffee peel and animal manure. We have also continued to support a community of beekeepers and, four years on from the start of this project, they are going from strength to strength. With the income made from honey production, the group has plans to finance the extension of electricity to their community and build a school.
As Chairperson Siata Ouattara said: “The project has built cohesion and team spirit among us. We work together towards our wellbeing.”
Partnership plays a huge part in all of our projects and it is only with the support of partners, colleagues, volunteers, donors, and grants from trusts and foundations that we are able to continue to support the talents of rural businesses. These achievements were recognised by the Charity Times Awards, where Shared Interest Foundation was named Charity of the Year with an income of less than £1 million. These prestigious awards celebrate outstanding efforts within the voluntary sector.