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The International Co-operative Alliance and Crédit Coopératif launch a new investment fund to assist with the development of cooperatives in developing countries
The ‘Global Cooperative Impact’ (GCI) fund aims to demonstrate that co-operatives are an asset class in their own right.
Brussels, 5th August 2015: The International Co-operative Alliance and Crédit Coopératif launch the investment fund ‘Global Cooperative Impact’ for the long term financing of co-operatives in developing countries. African co-operatives will be the first to benefit from the GCI fund. The fund provides an answer to the growing need for the funding of co-operative organisations whilst also providing reassurance to investors of a social and financial return. Impulse Europe, a co-operative organisation based in Brussels and subsidiary of Crédit Coopératif, has been appointed to manage this process.
Whilst co-operatives generate stability and progress in developing countries, they also face great challenges in financing their growth. This new fund addresses the needs with fair priced finance in order to strengthen the equity (subordinated debt) and support the needs of long term beneficiaries. It also means that the co-operative model can extend its reach and benefits by creating sustainable employment and stable income for co-operators. By granting dedicated, long term and reliable funding, the aim is to promote co-operative values globally.
The GCI funds aim to support the development of co-operative financial institutions (co-operative banks, credit unions, microfinance co-operatives) and large agricultural co-operatives. They ensure the greatest financial and social return to investors (expected IRR of 4%). The social impact of the fund will be measured against the key performance indicators as recommended by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).
Many organisations have already confirmed their support for the GCI fund: the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Co-operatives (China), Crédit Coopératif (France), The Co-operators (Canada), Central England Co-operatives (UK), Midcounties Co-operative (UK) and the co-operative group IFFCO (India). The first round should be completed by the first quarter of 2016.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance: ''Co-operatives are growing and sustainable businesses which serve the needs of people. The new Global Co-operative Impact Fund will measure performance not only at financial and social level, but also based on environmental concern and good governance. Fund beneficiaries will be expected to observe participative, ethical and financial standards as put forward in the co-operative principles. We expect the Global Co-operative Impact Fund to become a magnificent example of global co-op to co-op trade. We are eager to see it develop into both a win-win and a cultural bridge among world co-operators.”
Christine Jacglin, Managing Director of Crédit Coopératif, states that, “The GCI Fund answers the need for a reliable and profitable facility for long-term investment in co-operatives. The new fund will pioneer a legacy of co-operative investment and establish co-operatives as an asset class. I am pleased to announce that, next to world-class leading co-operatives, the Global Cooperative Impact Fund will partner with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in order to establish an integrated technical assistance plan in the fund activities.”
The GCI fund is managed by Impulse Europe, a specialist in financing social and solidarity economy. In 2006, Impulse Europe launched CoopEst, a social investment fund for Central and Eastern Europe which today boasts a portfolio of €37M invested in financial institutions in 10 different countries. Inspired by the success of CoopEst, the CoopMed fund will soon be formed and will focus on the development of co-operatives in the Mediterranean region.
For more information on the GCI fund, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org