Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the developing world producing agricultural, textile and handicraft goods in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner have had difficulty attaining the financing necessary to bring their products to market despite a growing global demand. A group of sustainable trade lenders formed The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) to improve the delivery of finance and financial management tools to these SMEs. Through joint projects, advocacy, inter-organizational cooperation, and increased transparency, FAST works around the world to broaden producer access to credit and related financial risk management tools. FAST members include financial institutions committed to sustainable production as well as producers. Because input from producer members is so important to the success of the alliance, FAST decided to waive membership fees for the smallest SMEs in the first year. The Lodestar Foundation provided general operating funds to support membership development of the alliance in its first year.
Grant Amount: $75,000
Year Granted: 2008
Grantee: The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST)
Grantee Website: The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST)