The Uganda Shoe-shiners Industrial Cooperative Society was initiated in 1975 by homeless street boys and girls who had, for a long time, bore the wrath of the city authorities for operating without licence. After organizing themselves into a cooperative and having attained legal status, they proceeded with a request to the city authority for the allocation of working areas in the city. Success followed, and in a couple of years they started manufacturing shoe brushes and using environment-friendly materials.
In 2007, the cooperative had more than 600 members and had created branches in other cities of Uganda. Thanks to their affiliation to the Uganda Cooperative Alliance, they benefitted from training courses. The Cooperative Savings and Credit Union of Uganda provided loans to their members, who have clearly moved to the formal economy and enjoyed higher and more stable incomes since working within the framework of the cooperative.i
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037