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2015 Empowerment Grant Projects

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Kruewan Chonlanai
Credit Union Development Institute & Asian Women in Cooperatives Development Forum
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Developing a translated social media platform to share the benefits and expertise of the Network across Thailand and Asia.

Project Update:

  • Presented project at ACCU Forum to share impact of the Network, meeting separately with attendees (590 from 25 countries) interested in launching a Sister Society in Asia (Sept).
  • Launched 2nd Sister Society in Thailand in Chiang Mai (Nov).
  • Convened regional leaders in Thailand, introduced them to the Network, and helped to plan the launch of 6 Sister Societies in Thailand in 2016 (Dec).
  • Collecting inspirational stories from Network members to translate for Thai version of Network Facebook group.

Eleonora Zgonjanin Petrovikj

Eleonora Zgonjanin Petrovikj
FULM Saving House
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Executing an International Exchange Program to develop a communication strategy for FULM Saving House to better reach and serve financially excluded women and youth.

Project Update:

  • Secured program mentors and volunteers to help develop a communication strategy for financial excluded women and youth via ongoing collaboration with Tallahassee, TruWest and Schools First credit unions.
  • Arranging an international exchange to Schools First Credit Union in March of 2016 to learn about communication strategies and marketing techniques.
  • Promoted Communication Strategy suggestions via radio, TV and Facebook.
  • Hosted 10 workshops at local high schools and universities to co-pilot new website.
  • Seeking a credit union or individual interested in traveling to Macedonia to promote credit union outreach to women and youth.
Juliet C. Rawlinson

Juliet C. Rawlinson
Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative
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Enhancing and sustaining the services of the Business Development Center to provide further training and support for rural female entrepreneurs in the Philippines.

Project Update:

  • Established partnerships with 3 institutions that provide market linkage, technological transfers, and skill development for local entrepreneurs
  • Identified high market demand enterprises and trained 25 women in those areas
  • Network involvement: Shana Richardson, CEO of Ser Technology and Elenita San Roque, CEO of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions conducted a follow up visit to the BDS. Utah Sister Society leader Susan Rather, board member of Deseret First Federal Credit Union, ordered necklaces from the BDS to sell as a Network fundraiser at their meeting.
  • BDS women created wreaths for the Worldwide Foundation supporter gifts.

2014 Empowerment Grant Impact

Elenita San Roque

Elenita San Roque, CEO of the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions in Thailand, proposed the creation of a Business Development Center and Services (BDS) at the Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC) in Plaridel, Philippines, which played a crucial role in advancing women members' entrepreneurial and leadership skills as well as access to markets and information for micro and small enterprise developments (MSEs).

  • The BDS opened in March with over 600 cooperative attendees, government representatives, Global Women staff and Network volunteer Shana Richardson;

  • 109 entrepreneurial women were trained on enterprise management, increasing income by 23%;

  • 8,282 members received financial literacy training;

    BDS Products for Sale
  • Four new Sister Societies were initiated in Nepal, Philippines (Plaridel & Tagum) and Thailand to further advance women's leadership skills at the local level.

This program will continue under the support of PMPC and a 2015 Empowerment Grant awarded to BDS Officer-in-Charge Juliet Rawlinson.

Lozano with Students

Kristi Lozano, Financial Education Specialist at San Mateo Credit Union in California, USA, proposed the San Mateo County Scholars program to increase financial awareness and leadership skills among female high school credit union members. The project increased financial literacy and college matriculation amongst female youth through the San Mateo County Scholars (SMCS) program in California, USA:

  • 100% of the first cohort of 20 students consisted of teen mothers and or expectant mothers;

  • 25 Network members served as mentors and assisted students with email development and the "Bite of Reality" simulation on budgeting and finance;

  • With the involvement of Redwood High School, over 35 student memberships were created at San Mateo Credit Union and the entire first cohort set up checking and savings accounts and received financial literacy training;

  • SMCS had one of the highest final exam completion rates (80%) for the entire school and all students passed;

    San Mateo County Scholars program
  • The cohort visited the University of California Berkley to learn about financial aid and hear from a panel of current young-mother students.

The SMCS program is now complete.

For additional questions about the projects, please contact


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A Program of:
World Council of Credit Unions