Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs through Cooperatives

Woman in a Cooperative working.

By Ashley Holst Cooperatives are leaders in promoting inclusive economic growth by providing equitable and accessible solutions to economic and social stressors. Two of the seven principles of cooperatives are “voluntary and open membership” and “concern for community,” both of which call upon cooperatives to create opportunities for all people and to put the betterment…

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Unlocking Economic Empowerment: Insights from Gender Analyses in Guatemala and Kenya

Cooperative Development, women working together.

By Chloe Pan Globally, nearly 2.4 billion women do not have the same economic rights as men, and on average, only have three-fourths of the legal rights. Harmful gender norms and discrimination present immense challenges to women’s access to economic opportunities. To discover more specific barriers to women’s economic access, gender analyses are conducted. Through…

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Promoting Economic Advancement as a Pathway to Preventing HIV and Violence against Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Women working in Kenya

By Betty Adera This month, as we observe International Women’s Day 2024, it is imperative to reflect on the multifaceted challenges that adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), aged 15 to 24, face. Under this year’s theme, Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress, we must consider how the intertwined issues of HIV/AIDS and violence halt their…

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Driving Change: Youth-Led Worker Cooperative Transforming Kenya’s Automotive Industry

Transparency Auto Workers Cooperative Members inspecting a car's oil level.

By Tindi Sitati and Mike Kipngeno Rooted in the energy of youth, the Transparency Auto Worker Cooperative was created in 2022 through a collective vision of former automotive engineering students from Eastlands College of Technology (ECT) in Nairobi County, Kenya. The cooperative, which currently supports 22 active members, is a response to the pressing challenges…

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Generating Job Opportunities for Mountain Guides and Porters in Kenya

By Tindi Sitati and Mike Kipngeno Nestled within the scenic landscapes of Nyeri County, Mt. Kenya Guides and Porters Safari Worker Cooperative stands as an inspiring example of the transformative influence of the worker cooperative model in Kenya’s tourism sector. Originating as an informal group in 1971, the cooperative has since flourished into a vibrant…

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Uniting Communities: A Pivotal Force in Combating HIV/AIDS

By Betty Adera As we observe this year’s World AIDS Day, it is crucial to shine a light on persistent inequalities that continue to affect the lives of children, adolescents and young women. Numerous awareness campaigns and other strategies have led to critical advancements during the four-decade long HIV/AIDS global pandemic. However, the role of…

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Pass the Mic: Growing from Our Roots: Exploring the History and Future of Cooperative Development Programming at Global Communities

By Paula Rudnicka, Sr. Manager for Public Affairs at Global Communities Global Communities’ history is deeply rooted in the cooperative movement. Our organization was created in 1952 as the Foundation for Cooperative Housing, and for over 30 years we used the cooperative model to help build 60,000 houses for people in need across 35 states…

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New USAID-funded Program to Strengthen Worker Cooperatives in Guatemala and Kenya

Silver Spring, MD – Global Communities announces a new award from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement CLEAR+—the second phase of the Cooperative Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) program carried out since 2018. The five-year CLEAR+ program will strengthen the cooperative sectors in Guatemala and Kenya. CLEAR+ is designed to…

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Collaborating for Impact in Kenya’s Cooperative Sector

By Tindi Sitati Collaborative partnerships are the driving force behind the Cooperative Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) program at Global Communities. These partnerships enhance cooperative sector growth and advance economic prosperity by enabling cooperatives to pool resources, share knowledge, access broader markets and achieve economies of scale. Through collaboration, cooperatives can mitigate risks, foster…

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USAID CLEAR Program in Kenya Launches a Series of Cooperative Management Education Videos

The Cooperative Leadership Engagement Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) program, funded by USAID, Cooperative Development Program, recently developed a series of training and educational videos to capture the curriculums and materials developed over the life of the program. Cooperatives, SMEs, and others can benefit from these videos to learn about the basics of cooperative management, view…

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Building the Resilience of Kenya’s Cooperative Sector through Capacity Building of Policymakers and Implementers

By Olga Oyier & Maureen Gitau, USAID/CLEAR Program Kenya’s devolved system of governance has provided the country with an opportunity to implement grassroots-led development programs but also revealed technical gaps at the county government level, particularly in the area of public policy formulation and implementation. More specifically, the cooperatives policy and legislative reform process to…

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How Policy Innovations Can Strengthen Cooperative Businesses in Kenya

By Maureen Gitau, USAID/CLEAR Program Registration of cooperative businesses is a challenging issue for policymakers and stakeholders in the cooperative sector. Under Schedule Four of the Kenyan Constitution, cooperative development is a fully devolved function, meaning oversight for cooperatives was transferred from the national government to county governments, including the transfer of powers and funding.…

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Ending the “Triple Threat” of Early Pregnancies, New HIV Infections and Sexual Violence among Adolescent Girls & Young Women

By Betty Adera A single act of sexual violence against women and girls can result in HIV infections and other sexually transmitted diseases, resulting in shame, fear and trauma. However, for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), sexual violence can also result in early pregnancy and childbearing, which carries its own stigma. Globally, girls between…

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Addressing Housing Challenges through Cooperatives

By Ashley Holst One of the global victims of rising inequality and climate change is access to decent housing. Housing costs are increasing, while the supply is waning. In many countries, including Kenya, where the USAID Cooperative Development Program – Cooperative Leadership Engagement Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), is being implemented by Global Communities, land affordability…

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Lessons from Kenya on Empowering Women in Housing Cooperatives

A Kenyan woman smiles while holding Kenya's flag in front of her.

By Fredrick Nyagah and Tindi Sitati According to data from the International Cooperative Research Group, women represent only 30 percent of cooperative membership in Kenya. This under-representation extends to the leadership level and to the number of staff employed by cooperatives as well. At the same time, as the number of cooperatives increases nationwide, women’s…

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Together for our African Girls and Young Women

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the concept of gender equality remains abstract and farfetched. In this day and age, there are still girls and young women who lack access to primary and secondary school due to social, cultural, religious or political reasons; who are not yet reached with comprehensive information on their sexual and reproductive health; who…

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