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A Program of:
World Council of Credit Unions


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Empowerment Grant Projects

Each year the Global Women's Leadership Network awards scholarships to help advance emerging credit union leaders. Scholarship winners not only receive complimentary access to the Network and participation in that year's World Credit Union Conference (WCUC) and the Network's Leadership Forum, but also become eligible to receive an Empowerment Grant.

Each scholarship winner is asked to design a concept proposal that increases access to credit, loans, savings, and leadership opportunities for women in their communities. World Council staff evaluate the project's strength, financial need, opportunity for Network membership engagement and potential impact on the local community. Selected scholarship winners then present their project proposals at the WCUC for Network members and sponsors to vote on.

In addition to receiving funds, recipients of the Empowerment Grant receive technical support, and expertise and guidance from their Global Women's Leadership Network peers worldwide.

Current Empowerment Grant Updates

Eleonora Zgonjanin Petrovikj- Macedonia

  • 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 Rawlinson- Philippines

  • Established partnerships with 3 institutions that provide market linkage, technological transfers, and skill development for local entrepreneurs: GITIB Foundation to develop local resources (Nov); Governmental Unit for Community Society Organizations (CSO) for Bottom-Up Budgeting training (Oct); Villar Foundation and Oroquieta Agro Industrial School to offer Scholarships for 4 students to attend Animal Production Short Course (Nov).
  • Identified high market demand enterprises and trained women in those areas: 25 people trained in essential oils, herbal ointments & herbal powders (Nov); coffee, turmeric and ginger identified as high-demand crops, BDS arranged for soil testing through the department of agriculture (Nov); farm establishment training conducted for 29 individuals (Nov).
  • Increased utilization of Business Development Center and Services (BDS): products and services advertised and promoted at weekly center meetings, cross 10 branches at CUMI Day and at Sister Society meetings. Marketing catalogue developed and posted on Facebook.
  • 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 (Sept) 6 months after the grand opening. 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 for Credit Unions to send to supporters as year-end gifts.

Kristi Lozano- California, USA

  • Credit Union impact: 6 new students joined the program set up accounts at San Mateo Credit Union, 2nd year students set up accounts for their children (12 in total under the age of 1). All students and children with membership are allowed to use Coin Star Machines free of charge.
  • Community impact: the San Mateo County Scholars program has been widely received in the community and was invited (as the only financial institution) for the second year in a row to participate in the San Mateo District College Fair. We presented to 120 students and parents who were later able to visit our booth to ask questions about youth accounts.
  • Leadership Impact: part of the SMCS program is to foster leadership in young women through team building exercises. The new element of returnee students to this year's program has fostered additional leadership opportunities and shown significant growth in classroom discussions and participation.
  • Volunteerism and Network Impact: In addition to our regular Network mentors, U Direct and Sky One Credit Union have played a significant role in helping us build career readiness skills with our youth. They volunteered to hold mock interviews for our students and treated them just like potential candidates. Students studied job descriptions provided by their credit unions, tailored a rough draft resume, and completed a mock interview.

Kruewan Chonlanai- Thailand

  • 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.

2015 Empowerment Grant Project Proposals

2015 Empowerment Grant Application
2014 Empowerment Grant Project Impact

2014 Empowerment Grant Project Proposals