Friday, February 01, 2013
FSD Support Tola Coop Partners with Awarded Grants
FSD was recently awarded a grant from Caridad Partners, a Bay Area women’s philanthropic giving circle, to support our ongoing community cooperatives initiative in Tola, Nicaragua. The grant funds three community cooperatives:
1) Cooperativo de servicios de consumo Mujeres, esperanza y fe sells sundries, food product staples, and other goods at affordable prices and targeting women consumers—and is starting a revolving loan program;
2) Cooperativo Textil Vestuario de Limon, a textile/sewing cooperative, provides quality, low-cost uniforms for local schoolchildren; and
3) Grupo Genesis, a bakery cooperative, is the first female-led enterprise in the Tola region now providing fresh-baked goods locally.
The cooperative initiative is a key driver to stimulating community leadership—and the local economy—in a greatly underserved region of Latin America’s second poorest country. Catalyzing community development since 1995, FSD is leading this region through a community mobilization, skills and leadership development movement.
The cooperative initiative started with a 40-hour training covering government regulations, accounting basics, coop governance, and group dynamics, and FSD is continuing to support the groups through a three-phase plan. The groups have also taken part in a business plan creation workshop and are now receiving ongoing project support as FSD connects the coops to its existing partners in similar fields. The grants will support continued leadership, business and personal development training, and market analysis and capital expansion plans. Over 400 people are estimated to benefit directly from the grant due to the increased income generated by the coops.