8 Jul. 2011 Bangladesh
A giant step towards self-sufficiency. A kiosk opened through the joint capital of local residents.
The large assortment of everyday items inside of the store
Support to agricultural cooperatives and Women Ending Hunger (WEH)
In April of 2010, “Prokriti,” a co-op that aims at improving an income in villages in Kaligonji county, opened a store sells everyday items in a center of a town. It invites individuals to buy a share of the store with 500 taka (about 750 yen) and runs the business based on the money invested from them. Besides the 1,000 shares funded by HFW, 400 individuals and organizations had invested additional 700 shares by November. Investors range from all walks of life, such as individual farmers and Women Ending Hunger (WEH), a women’s organization which HFW supports.
Eleven members of the management team, which is made up of WEH leaders, HFW employees, and volunteers with experience in management, takes on the operation of the store and provides the investors with periodical sales reports. They plan to give them a dividend annually depending on the number of shares they have, and the actual process will be determined at the annual general meeting to be held 1 January 2011. HFW considers to allot the dividend back to the co-op to stock it.
At present, the store is running well. The investors who shop there can increase their dividend, and they receive a 5% discount on any items. They say that they shop in the store as often as possible. The members of the co-op is dreaming of selling clothing made by WEH and processed organic foods.