Helping businesses grow

We believe that everyone deserves the chance to provide for themselves and their family. As private enterprises create nine out of ten jobs in developing countries, it is vital that they have the necessary funds to grow.

In Africa

Although our Access to Finance programme in Africa came to a close in 2015, we are still seeing the impact the training had on agricultural businesses such as Kabuboni coffee farmers’ co-operative.

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In Malawi

In 2015 we developed a compact programme of access to finance training specifically for tea and sugar farmers in Malawi. Eight co-operatives were identified as needing support, and thanks to the Malawi Fairtrade Network, we were able to help.

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In Latin America

Following the success of our Access to Finance training in Africa, this year we delivered two training and mentoring programmes in Latin America. Together with Shared Interest Society, we provide a vital combination of business training and fair finance. Using a donation of £50,000 from our sister organisation, plus the support of other funders, we helped small businesses in Columbia and Peru to improve their financial awareness.

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Building strong networks

Small and medium sized businesses provide the majority of all employment opportunities worldwide. In many sub-saharan African countries this figure rises as high as 80%. These businesses therefore play a vital role in providing income for communities, and are a hugely important engine for economic growth and development. 

Our aim is to provide support which creates resilient businesses in countries with a high level of poverty. To date, this has been primarily focused in Africa where we have provided training in 14 different countries. 

In Swaziland

With the support of Comic Relief, we began working in Swaziland in 2010, providing business training for the handcraft sector.

We helped establish a business support network known as SWIFT (Swaziland Fair Trade), which has a board of experienced business leaders from the local community.

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In Rwanda

We are currently running a campaign to help improve the lives of women in Rwanda, where we have worked for the past eight years. Through delivering practical training and mentoring to ten handcraft co-operatives the project will enable the organisations to become sustainable and provide increased incomes for their producers.

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