Innovative search begins for credit union to serve thousands of women-owned small businesses

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce looks for partner credit union to address recent U.S. Census data showing women business owners not on par with male-owned firms

TACOMA, WA (January 20, 2016) — In a first-of-its-kind initiative, CU Strategic Planning (CUSP) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to credit unions nationwide to serve members of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC), a leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues based in Washington, D.C. With a national membership, USWCC has flipped the traditional “credit union seeking SEGs” model and is, instead, proactively seeking a credit union partner to address its women-owned small business issues recently revealed in the 2012 U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners. USWCC has hired CU Strategic Planning to help find the right credit union for the group’s more than 500,000 members.

USWCC’s search to partner with a credit union parallels the recent release of the 2012 U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners, which shows women own 9.9 million small businesses nationwide, representing 35% of the total number of firms. These businesses only generate 4% of the revenues, however. Approximately, 70% of women-owned firms have less than $25,000 in revenue and only 10% have paid employees. The census also shows average revenue is dropping, not growing between 2007-2012 time period.

USWCC sees partnering with a not-for-profit credit union as a critical part of its efforts to address American business challenges for women and small business owners.

“We looked at the option of chartering a new credit union, and came to the conclusion that partnering with an existing credit union is a more dynamic way to build something together cooperatively, to meet the needs of our members and their businesses, now, today,” said Margot Dorfman, USWCC CEO and Co-Founder. “We aren’t looking for the largest credit union, we are looking for the RIGHT credit union with which to partner to build a portfolio of women’s and small business-friendly loans and services, and in return, drive our membership to this credit union. A win-win for everyone.”

What type of credit union is a potential partner to the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce?

  • A credit union with the strong desire to grow its products and services to existing members, as well as developing business services to meet the needs of USWCC’s women and small business owners.
  • A credit union that wants to develop to the “next level” in asset size. The right credit union is likely between $20 million and $100 million in assets.
  • A credit union with “buy-in” from the board and staff leadership to foster the partnership, along with a commitment to be flexible in governance and charter.

Credit unions that want to be considered for this unique opportunity need to respond no later than February 15, 2016, to CU Strategic Planning Senior Consultant Mike Beall at mike@creditunionstrategicplanning with the subject: “USWCC Intent to Respond to RFP.”

In the body of the email include:

  1. Credit union name
  2. Charter number
  3. CEO
  4. Email
  5. Phone number

“This really is a unique opportunity for the right credit union, to transform its operations and provide existing and new members with a great benefit,” said CU Strategic Planning’s Founder Jamie Strayer (formerly Jamie Chase). “Interested credit unions should show a desire to be the credit union dedicated to serving the USWCC as well as existing members, should be flexible in expanding their field of membership, governance, and product offerings, and demonstrate ‘buy in’ to the concept of the RFP.”

Questions about the process, the request for proposal, and the opportunity to work with the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce should be directed to CU Strategic Planning’s Mike Beall at The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce will not be taking questions or inquiries from individual credit unions or their representatives.

About The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)

The USWCC is the leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues.  As the economic leader for women, the USWCC creates opportunities, drives progress, advocates, and provides tools and solutions to support the economic growth of women across America. The USWCC ( is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 2001 with over 500,000 members; its headquarters offices are located in Washington, D.C.  Contact the USWCC at 888-418-7922 or

About CU Strategic Planning

For more than a decade, CU Strategic Planning has provided business planning services for credit unions with a focus on community development. The company facilitates strategic planning meetings and develops business plans in addition to being the No. 1 CDFI grant-writing firm for credit unions in the country. Through grants, strategic and tactical planning, DEI consulting, community summit facilitation and more, CU Strategic Planning achieves its mission to unlock opportunities for credit unions to change lives and their communities. CU Strategic Planning’s funding for credit unions has reached $770 million.


Media Contact
Sarah Snell Cooke
443.472.6276 |

More News