GLI for Credit Unions Activity

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

Project Overview

USAID’s Office of Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment (USAID/GenDev), through 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 Updates for July – September 2020:

  • WOCCU’s first two deliverables were submitted and approved.   
  • The GLI4CUs team is working with UM-PAMECAS to finalize our credit union selection criteria in order to select the four pilot credit unions.  
  • A market ecosystem analysis is in progress to assess opportunities to finance women-led enterprises in Senegal. As part of the activity, WOCCU and UM-PAMECAS have conducted a rapid market analysis to both analyze regulatory challenges and study the demand and supply of capital needs for Senegal’s micro, small, and medium enterprises.  
  • The design of a baseline survey for the pilot credit unions is in progress. Data collection is scheduled to start in October.  

Credit Unions in the Country

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