GLI for Credit Unions Activity
Developing a Gender Lens Investment (GLI) Methodology
April 2020 - January 2022
USAID INVEST is supporting women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment through a range of innovative and blended finance approaches. These approaches include:
- Promotion of gender smart investing.
- Expansion of financial services to women through innovative channels.
- Empowerment of women through workforce development opportunities and the strengthening of the enabling environment.
As part of this effort, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) will pilot a Gender Lens Investment (GLI) methodology for credit unions worldwide to integrate optimal systems to connect women with needed capital. As community-centered financial cooperatives, credit unions are ideally positioned to deliver blended capital solutions that increase investment in women-led businesses.
According to UM-PAMECAS, a credit union network in Senegal, an estimated 51% of all credit union members within the PAMECAS network are women. To understand the credit union GLI market, WOCCU will conduct a gender-lens market survey analysis and design a customized set of tools – our GLI Accelerator Kit – that credit unions can adopt to better serve women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. Increasing women’s access to capital offers the exciting potential of delivering both increased gender equity and financial returns.
WOCCU’s GLI Credit Unions Activity will encompass the development, deployment, and scaling of the GLI Accelerator Kit over three phases. After the research and market analysis phase is complete, and the methodology is developed, WOCCU will identify credit unions in Senegal to pilot the GLI Accelerator Kit.
During the pilot phase, WOCCU will refine the GLI Accelerator Kit and build capacity at the national and local levels to utilize the Kit and apply learnings into new credit methodologies. The pilot will aim to improve the readiness of credit unions to increase access to credit for women in Senegal. WOCCU will lead both national and local counterparts in Senegal, as well as its Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) in the implementation of this activity.
Beyond the pilot credit unions, WOCCU will continue to disseminate and support the adoption of the Kit by integrating it into the set of technical tools offered to its global members and through its economic development projects.
Project Update: June 2021
- At the end of March, the GLI4CUs team designed an action plan for each pilot credit union and adapted it for implementation over the next months to address priority needs across the project’s three levers of change: 1) Improving credit products and processes; 2) Supporting businesses and their formalization; 3) Expanding women’s networking opportunities and leadership skills.
- PAMECAS met with the pilot credit union directors to discuss priorities for monitoring GLI Kit indicators in the context of their customized action plans.
- In April, WOCCU provided guidance to the PAMECAS marketing team on conducting a randomized marketing survey to better understand the demographics of their loan recipients and inform product development. The results of this survey are enabling participating pilot credit unions to better target a new pilot loan offering to business-oriented loan requests.
- Based on findings of our gender-disaggregated PAR 30/PAR 90 assessment, WOCCU and PAMECAS worked with two credit unions to pilot improved credit products for women (AFSSEF) that are more accessible. These loans were approved for piloting on April 12, and include term changes such as:
- An increase in the individual ceiling loan amount per member in a group loan from 500,000 to 1,000,000 FCFA, and the elimination of a 500,000 FCFA loan guarantee.
- A reduction in compulsory deposits for individual and formal group loans from 20% to 15%.
- In May, WOCCU participated in the Central Bank of Haiti (BRH) Women and Finance conference to present the GLI4CUs activity and results thus far.
Credit Unions in the Country
- 98 total credit unions
- 2,980,787 members
- US $597,010,153 in total savings
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