Global Co-operative Impact Fund to provide funding for developing co-operatives

19 May 2015

The International Co-operative Alliance together with Crédit Coopératif is re-launching the Global Development Co-operative to grant long-term, reliable and dedicated funding to developing co-operatives. The fund will be managed by Impulse Europe, a Brussels-based subsidiary of Crédit Coopératif, and will change its name into the Global Co-operative Impact Fund.

Commenting on the launch of the fund, Pierre Valentin, Deputy Managing Director at Crédit Coopératif, said: “The new Global Co-operative Impact Fund answers the need for a reliable and profitable facility for long-term investment in African 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 Co-operative Impact Fund will partner with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.”

The fund was designed for co-operative financial institutions such as co-operative banks, credit unions or co-operative monetary financial institutions, as well as large co-operatives with an agricultural focus. As the Fund’s manager, Impulse Europe will measure the social impact of its activities based on key performance indicators recommended by the Global Impact Investing Network. The fund is expected to provide social and financial returns to investors, with an internal rate of return of 4%.

Alliance president, Dame Pauline Green, said: “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 between African and world co-operators.”

Impulse Europe has a strong record on co-operative development. One of its flagship projects is CoopEst, a Central and Eastern Europe development co-operative fund launched in 2006, which now has a €39m portfolio and funds financial institutions in 10 countries. A similar fund for the Mediterranean area – CoopMed is due to be launched.

A number of co-operatives and co-operative federations have already pledged their financial support for the new Global Co-operative Impact Fund, including Crédit Coopératif, the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Co-operatives, The Co-operators and Central England Co-operative.

The expected date for the first closing is end of first quarter 2016. The Global Co-operative Impact Fund can be contacted at info@gcifund.coop.

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