Financing Fair Trade

Prospero is an Irish charity which provides finance at 'low or no' interest to Fairtrade certified cooperatives and businesses in developing countries.

Access to capital is a major problem for Fairtrade producers, and many cooperatives are unable to pay their members for their produce until the cooperatives sell the product. This can take months. The farmers then become vulnerable to middlemen who pay them bad prices but who can offer them cash when they need it.

And even if Fairtrade cooperatives can get loans, huge interest rates - 20% and more - are common.

That’s why access to relatively small loans (€10,000 to €20,000) at ‘low-or-no’ interest rates can make a world of difference to many organisations in poor communities.

You make a donation or investment

Donations and investments are used to make 'low or no' interest loans to Fairtrade organisations in developing countries. We collect your donations and investments and pool them in one fund. Prospero provides loans from this fund to successful applicants.

We make a loan

To date (December 2022), Prospero has made 42 loans worth €2,147,027 (USD 2,475,614) and 11 grants worth €148,986. Loans have been made to Fairtrade organisations in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. All loan repayments due have been made in full. Grants have been made to Fairtrade organisations in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru and Tanzania.

Your funding is continuously recycled

When a loan is repaid, we re-loan the money to fund new projects. This allows your money to help not just one project but many people's dreams and aspirations come to life where they wouldn't otherwise be able to.

 ... a helping hand to local people to set up local businesses is charity working at its best. 

Bobby KerrBusiness 'Dragon'

 ... I have seen the difference that a Prospero 'low-or-no’ interest loan can make to a co-op in a desperately poor community. It is life transforming, it really is. 

Peter GaynorFairtrade Ireland

 ... this is a wonderful way of helping some of the poorest people in the world to realise their potential. 

Síofra CampbellBewley's Ltd

 ... the lovely thing is that the money will be recycled again and again, bringing life and hope and all-important jobs to so many people in so many communities. 

John DouglasPresident, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, 2013-2015

 ... this is an Irish charity giving practical assistance to those who need it most. It makes a real difference and deserves support. 

Marie BakerJudge, Supreme Court of Ireland (in a personal capacity)

 ...none of us had ever heard of Ireland before that wonderful day when the word arrived that someone in Ireland was lending us enough money to set up a co operative. We didn't let them down. Three years later we were able to repay the money in full. We will never forget you. 

Yelba GuzmanCOOMPROCOM Cooperative, Nicaragua

Donation Amount

Prospero Foundation is a company limited by guarantee registered in Ireland.
Registered Company Number 536680 / Registered Charity Number 20081843 / Revenue Charity Number CHY 20592

Our registered office is Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7, D07 RHA8, Ireland

We are registered with the Central Bank of Ireland under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation - Institution Code C460475.


Tel.: +353 (0)85 713 8146

Directors: John Daly, Kieran Durnien, Nuala O'Connor, Alex White

Supported by: Bewley's Ltd, Concern Worldwide, Fairtrade Ireland, Insomnia Ltd, Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Trócaire