For the second time Co-operative & Community Finance has won an award at the Responsible Finance conference. On 28 March 2017, it won the Citi Microentrepreneurship Award for Effective Partnership for its work with the Just Growth Fund.
The Just Growth Fund, launched in 2015, focuses on supporting businesses in community food and farming work. To date Co-operative & Community Finance has made loans to four enterprises via the fund: the Ecological Land Co-operative, Veg Box People, Scotland the Bread and Plotgate Venture.
Tim Coomer, Business Development Manager at Co-operative & Community Finance said “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded The Citi Microentrepreneurship Award for Effective Partnership. Our collaborative work with Funding Enlightened Agriculture (FEA) and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has unlocked vital grant, loan and social investment for our fantastic Just Growth food and farming societies.”
In 2015 Co-operative & Community Finance won the award for Innovation, in recognition of its work in enabling community ownership through innovative lending and investment funds.
Jennifer Tankard, Chief Executive of Responsible Finance, said: “Responsible finance providers are creating jobs, enterprise and opportunities in communities across the UK. It is inspiring to see how Co-operative & Community Finance is working creatively to support a thriving co-operative food and farming sector. It is a great example of effective partnership working that focuses on how best to support financially and socially successful businesses.”
Bob Annibale, CMA Judge and Global Director of Citi Inclusive Finance and Community Development said: “Whether in Central London or in rural Cornwall, it is inspiring to see how individuals and organisations are putting their communities at the heart of their business models so that their enterprising clients can create jobs and support more inclusive economic opportunities and growth. Congratulations to Co-operative & Community Finance and all of the winners.”
The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA), delivered in partnership by Responsible Finance and the Citi Foundation, champion the thriving small businesses of Britain and home-grown entrepreneurs. To be eligible for the awards a business must have benefited from an affordable loan from responsible finance providers and have contributed to the local economic growth in the UK.