How we work
Cooperative Development as a development strategy
Our foundation empowers our partners through focusing on development strategies that build on local strengths and historical precedent. East Africa has a strong history of cooperative society development and recognizes worker cooperatives as a legal corporate entity. We believe worker owned cooperatives have potential to deliver real scalable solutions for international development by providing a familiar framework for organization that can still operate within transitional economies in contemporary East Africa market systems.
Within the global manufacturing community, the largest premiums for adding value is found in design and marketing. We connect our Co-Operative with firms that can support their product demand through innovative design that fits export market demand.
'big push' capital injection
Our foundation develops cooperatives that are sustainable in that they aim to have no long term external capital injection for scaling up. Rather, we use grant funding to establish the ownership structure and basic manufacturing capital for export quality products to generate a proof-of-concept model. Once basic export revenue status is achieved, scaling up is achieved through traditional lending sources and reinvestment of re-payed grant funds.
Women in leadership roles
We believe in the power of women as change agents for global development, and we seek to promote women in management and leadership positions. We prioritize organizations that demonstrate success with women in leadership capacities.
Monitoring and Evaluation
All of our grant and loan programs are monitored through comprehensive accounting and in person reviews. Our staff works in conjunction with our partner cooperatives to report to the foundation board on organizational progress.