Global Programs

Youthlead Webinar- What can cooperatives do for youth?


Why are cooperatives an important vehicle for positive youth development? Since cooperatives are inclusive businesses, they often identify new and innovative ways to empower youth, women, and other marginalized groups. Join Youthlead on Tuesday, April 28 for a webinar from 9:30-10:30 am EDT. In this webinar, representatives from USAID, NCBA CLUSA, Global Communities, and Equal Exchange will share best practices in fostering youth participation in cooperatives.

USAID’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP) works across multiple sectors in Africa, Latin America, and Asia to build the capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability. NCBA CLUSA is an implementor of USAID’s CDP program working in Guatemala, Kenya, Peru, Tanzania, and Madagascar.

Participants will learn from examples in Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, and Uganda, where youth organized themselves into cooperatives and mobilized others. The webinar will introduce best practices that foster youth participation in cooperatives, explain how youth can successfully start their own cooperative businesses, and expound on how youth in different country contexts perceive cooperatives.

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Kiera Derman, Senior Program Manager & Youth Specialist at NCBA CLUSA. Kiera leads the organization’s youth strategy and provides technical oversight and guidance on youth engagement, entrepreneurship and enterprise development, workforce development and market integration. She manages the $76 million USAID REGIS-ER project in Niger and Burkina Faso providing operational and technical support on positive youth development and resilience. Prior to joining NCBA CLUSA, Kiera worked at FHI 360 where she co-authored labor market assessments in Zimbabwe and Kenya and contributed to Workforce Connections’ Labor Market Assessment toolkit. Kiera holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the George Washington University.

Kristin Wilcox Feldman, Chief of Party for USAID/CLEAR at Global Communities Kristin has served on the USAID Cooperative Development Program and been a member of the Global Communities technical team since 2011. She is currently Chief of Party for the USAID/CLEAR cooperative development program that focuses on improving cooperative policy and legislation across Kenya and improving economic opportunities for youth through the cooperative business model. In addition, she has worked to develop improved methods for group aggregation facilitation models, market and systems integration strategies and new approaches to business performance evaluation.

Julia Baumgartner, Cooperative Development Program Manager at Equal Exchange Julia is the Cooperative Development Program Manager at Equal Exchange, an alternative trade organization and worker-owned cooperative. Julia manages a USAID funded award that strengthens small-scale agricultural cooperatives that are part of Equal Exchange’s many supply chains. Her work currently focuses on supporting 8 coffee, cocoa, banana, sugarcane and avocado cooperatives throughout Latin America through locally led and designed initiatives. Julia holds a Master of Development Practice from the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica and a BA in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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