The East Africa Cooperative Development Group mission is to promote fair trade development in the East Africa region through investing in worker owned cooperatives that put ownership directly into the hands of employees. Our grant and loan programs are used to develop solvent, profitable cooperatives that are equipped with the skills and capital to produce high-quality, export-ready products that can be scaled and traded in global markets. Our experiences and business models are non-proprietary - we seek to share our successes and shortcomings with other groups who may learn and pass through our successes and challenges.
The East Africa Cooperative Development Group maintains a fund used to make grants and loans to our partner organizations.
We are currently soliciting applications for our grant and loan program. Successful partners should be able to demonstrate and document their ability to meet the following criteria.
Partner organizations should have a structure of worker ownership, or a transition plan to full worker ownership.
We partner with groups that have demonstrated successes in local and international markets.
We prioritize groups that have a scalable product model, to maximize investment impact.
Economically Vulnerable Women
We value organizations that work with vulnerable populations, to ensure that market-led development works for all.
"The challenge of our time is ensuring market led development work for all people as economies evolve"
Our foundation was founded by entrepreneurship duo Anthony Peele and Caroline Fisher for the purpose of supporting East African manufacturing capacity. Peele's career in Tanzania began as a student studying abroad at the University of Dar es Salaam, and then later as a research consultant through the University of Dar es Salaam as a Fulbright grantee in Economics.
Peele and Fisher have found success marketing East African Products before - through founding and promoting a Tanzanian-made shoe brand - Seeded Hand Sown - that is sold nationally in the USA. They have seen first-hand the power of cooperative development in affecting real change in the East Africa region, and founded the East Africa Cooperative Development Group to support that mission.