The following post is provided by the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), a World Council associate member.
Recent online consultation meetings for partner credit unions in Nepal and the Philippines concluded that business development services (BDS) are essential for members to bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.
Even before lockdowns were implemented in most Asian countries, ACCU had been advocating for the integration of BDS lending to stimulate business startups, expansion and sustainability. With the coaching, training, facilitation, market linkages and networking provided by BDS, there will be more chances for enterprises to succeed and thus, create loan demands at credit unions. The need for BDS has now been heightened because of increased unemployment caused by COVID 19.
The National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK), a World Council direct member, has provided financial support to institutionalize BDS in select countries: Nepal, India and the Philippines. At least 10 credit unions have been selected to help pilot the initiative.
Because implementation of the program was affected by the global pandemic, ACCU concluded it must find ways to provide the learning and coaching through an online platform. During the consultation meetings, it was decided that all partner credit unions would appoint a staff person who oversees BDS, build its tools, linkages and reaches out to members who can be assisted.