An ethical investment organisation has appointed a new chairman.
Mary Coyle MBE, of North Shields, is the new chair of board of directors at Shared Interest.
Using investment from people living in the UK, Shared Interest offers loans and credit to fair trade businesses across the globe from its Newcastle headquarters.
Mary’s most recent roles have included ten years as regional director at leadership development organisation, Common Purpose and 16 years at crime reduction charity Nacro, helping young offenders create a new life away from crime.
Mary said: “Throughout my career I have been involved in work that has been about helping people reach their full potential, both personally and professionally.
“Shared Interest has that at its core too.
“By investing, people in the UK are giving farmers and handcraft makers the tools they need to create a better future.
“That’s what interests me most about the organisation – helping people to help themselves.”
Shared Interest’s charity, Shared Interest Foundation, works with small and medium sized businesses in the developing world to create jobs and increase incomes in disadvantaged communities.
Mary added: “Shared Interest Foundation’s Access to Finance project is crucial in helping businesses in Africa get the finance they need to survive.
“The organisation is enabling the entrepreneurs of tomorrow with that first foot on the ladder; something close to my heart.
“I am delighted to join Shared Interest during a very important year. It is a joy to be part of an organisation that is continuing to thrive after 25 years, changing the lives of thousands of people across the globe.”