Leaving a legacy
The message being promoted during the International Year is not just a theoretical argument, it’s a living breathing reality for people all around the globe and it’s vital we invest to preserve this model for future generations.
That's why we're working with the International Co-operative Alliance and The Co-operative College to set up a global development fund that will provide support for co-operatives overseas.
Watch this video to see how the fund will support countries around the world (the video in Spanish can be viewed here):
The Global Development Co-operative
The Global Development Co-operative (GDC) was unveiled in New York as part of a special UN ceremony held to launch the International Year and recognise the role the co-operative business model has played in improving social and economic development in communities across the world.
This initiative is a clear illustration of one of the founding principles of the movement - self help among co-operatives
Dame Pauline Green
The Co-operative Bank is spearheading the new global initiative and The GDC aims to support co-operative businesses in developing countries by raising US$50m to provide access to low cost loans for capital and infrastructure projects. It will target those with an interest in international development and extending the reach and benefits of the co-operative model.
Co-operatives help social and economic progress in developing countries by creating and sustaining jobs and reducing poverty. However, funding is often scarce because traditional lenders are either not active in this market, or do not sufficiently understand the co-operative business model, or ecause businesses have limited collateral to put forward.
With the UK being the birthplace of co-operation I am extremely proud to be involved.
The Co-operative Bank has worked with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) – which represents the global movement – to develop this new concept.
Amongst the early investors committed to the initiative are the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Co-operatives, Credit Cooperatif of France, SOK Corporation from Finland and IFFCO of India. Mid-Counties Co-operative as well as The Co-operative Bank from the UK have also pledged support.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the ICA
and Paul Flowers, Chair of
The Co-operative Bank in New York
Peter Marks outside the UN in New York
at the launch of the International Year
The Co-operative Bank has developed the initiative as part the Group's pioneering Ethical Plan, a three year rolling programme that sets out goals and targets to drive its ethical and co-operative aspirations. It will provide administrative support to the GDC.
Paul Flowers, Chairman at The Co-operative Bank, said: “Against a backdrop of a financial crisis exacerbated by corporate greed and speculation, the co-operative model has proved to be one of the most enduring and successful ways of running a business for the last 150 years. Despite the tough economic times, our six million UK members want us to maintain support for development both home and abroad. It’s important we use the influence of the co-operative movement to support communities across the developing world. The launch of the GDC symbolises everything that is great about the movement as the International Year approaches.
Dame Pauline Green, President of the ICA also commented "It will ensure that a positive and long-lasting legacy will remain from the International Year, helping thousands of co-operators in the developing world. It will also continue our work to develop sustainable member-owned enterprises, and embed civil society across the globe. We urge those with an interest in furthering social and economic development in developing countries to support the GDC."