GLI for Credit Unions Activity

Developing a Gender Lens Investment (GLI) Methodology
April 2020 - January 2022

Project Overview

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, the national credit union association of 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: March 2021

  • In January, the GLI4CUs team held a review with members of the KAOLACK credit union credit committee to design a better system for tracking loans to its women members. Currently these volunteer member committees, who ultimately make credit decisions, do not have access to real-time data on sector information and outstanding debt of applicants to inform their decision making. WOCCU will assist in creating this dashboard through our toolkit.
  • In February, WOCCU completed interviews with credit union directors and staff, including the UM-PAMECAS marketing department, to better understand current structures and design the operational framework for each CU. WOCCU is also conducting focus group discussions with credit union clients to collect qualitative data about the client experience of women members who are entrepreneurs.
  • In March, leaders of the newly created GWLN Senegal sister society, participated in the GWLN annual breakfast seminar in and were introduced for the first time to the global women's leadership network.
  • WOCCU and PAMECAS met with pilot credit union staff to analyze and restructure the job description of credit officers to better define their role in facilitating the loan process for women members. Recommendations will be made in April.
  • On March 9, WOCCU held a webinar to share project results and learnings to date with our global network and discuss the role of gender lens investment in achieving global development objectives


Featured Content

March 2021

Webinar: Gender Equity in Credit Union Finance - A WOCCU Global Initiative

Credit Unions in the Country

  • 98 total credit unions
  • 2,980,787 members
  • US $597,010,153 in total savings
Funded by

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