USAID awards World Council Cooperative Development Program – Technology and Innovation for Financial Inclusion

Program deploys SME lending toolkit

MADISON, WI (October 18, 2018) — The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has been awarded funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Cooperative Development Program – Technology and Innovation for Financial Inclusion (CDP TIFI).

The five-year, US $7.7 million program, which runs until August 2023, will increase sustainable lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by deploying WOCCU’s SME Lending Toolkit and building a global knowledge sharing platform. Three key regional partners at launch are: The Confederation of Financial Institutions of West Africa (Confédération des Institutions Financières de l’Afrique de ‘Ouest, CIF) in Burkina Faso; The National Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito, FENACOAC) in Guatemala; and the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (KUSCCO). Using WOCCU’s SME Lending Toolkit as a guide, TIFI will strengthen the knowledge, capabilities, and governance of credit unions to deliver SME loans by first building capacity at the national association level, then scaling nationwide to their member credit unions. The program’s focus on digital transformation will also expand WOCCU’s role as a platform for its cooperative partners and members to learn about and experiment with global innovations in SME lending. TIFI will share learnings on a range of digital innovations from loan applications to alternatives credit scoring and e-payments, all important and timely topics for WOCCU’s global credit union networks worldwide.

TIFI aims 1) to improve cooperative business performance fueled by SME lending to allow members to grow businesses, incomes and employ more people, with a focus on digital innovation; 2) to improve a cooperative enabling environment when supporting issues arise related to legal and regulatory environment and 3) to enhance development community support to cooperatives.

“Leveraging digital innovation, World Council builds on its learning and successes from its current Cooperative Development Program, using the SME Lending Toolkit through the TIFI program to increase access to finance and expand membership by providing advanced member services and risk management tools both at the cooperative level and the enabling environment level,” said World Council President and CEO Brian Branch.

The first Cooperative Development Program focused on credit unions in Guatemala, Mexico and Kenya was awarded in 2010. In this previous program, WOCCU developed the first version of its SME Lending Toolkit focused on agriculture, which successfully reduced lending risks by “embedding” an agronomist with a credit union’s lending team and introducing an innovative loan analysis process. Credit union loan officers use tablets with mobile apps to drive this ongoing digital transformation. Building on this success, the new TIFI program will start with the hub countries of Burkina Faso, Guatemala and Kenya and then expand regionally in Central America (Honduras and El Salvador) and West Africa (Senegal and Mali), providing a baseline for a wider global expansion and sharing.

Flora Mukiri is a farmer who participated in the first CDP.

About World Council of Credit Unions

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach. World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


Greg Neumann
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

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