Photo: Shared Interest Society
Shared Interest Society - Investing in a Fairer World
Shared Interest Society asks its members to invest in a fairer world and helps people in some of the poorest countries trade their way out of poverty.
"Sustainability is at the heart of Shared Interest. For us, this means doing the best we can with the resources entrusted to us. We provide financial services to fair trade businesses across the globe. These businesses have a responsibility to support the communities in which they operate. As a result, our lending has a direct and lasting impact for generations to come."
-Patricia Alexander, Managing Director, Shared Interest Society
Shared Interest Society’s main aim is to reduce poverty through trade. By investing in fair trade business in developing countries, they support the growth of communities, including access to education, health provision, and stronger local infrastructure.
Many of their customers are affected by climate change and one of Shared Interest's aims is for their products to play a part in helping them adapt and become sustainable.
Shared Interest Society has almost 9,000 members. Each member has a Share Account which holds anything between £100 and £20,000. Combined member investments currently stand at £29.5 million.
The Society asks its members to ‘invest in a fairer world,’ where justice is at the heart of trade finance. They work to help people in some of the poorest countries in the world trade their way out of poverty.
Through access to financial services, farmers and producers can grow their business and their incomes. Greater investment supports improvements in working conditions and in quality of production. Stronger businesses support thriving communities, better equipped to deliver and access health and education provision.
Providing finance to smallholder farmers and producers empowers and inspires individuals, in particular women, to create and access new opportunities. This enables them to support themselves and their families, often for the first time.
“Sustainability is at the heart of Shared Interest. For us, this means doing the best we can with the resources entrusted to us. We provide financial services to fair trade businesses across the globe. These businesses have a responsibility to support the communities in which they operate. As a result, our lending has a direct and lasting impact for generations to come.
The Unilever International Award supported by Business Fights Poverty recognises businesses that have positively impacted one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Award is part of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards.
The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category have positively impacted over seven million beneficiaries. These companies are helping to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality, support various aspects of the health agenda, and build global partnerships for development between civil society, business and governments. These programmes demonstrate innovation, scale and the potential to be replicated, highlighting the importance of business as a key enabler of the MDGs.
The case studies profiled in this week’s special on Business Fights Poverty provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade. For more information, click here.
This article was previously published on Business In The Community and is reproduced with permission.