by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Young people called to join credit union movement
- International Credit Union Day normally celebrated on third Thursday in October
- Credit unions in Grenada an asset base of over $800 million
The inclement weather did not stop the festive spirit of the local credit union movement as they joined their global counterparts in recognising International Credit Union (ICU) Day.
This year the call continues for younger people to become a member of the credit union movement which totals over 200 million worldwide. Hundreds of credit union workers and members joined in the parade around the town of St Mark in celebration of 70th anniversary of ICU Day under the theme “Find your platinum lining in Credit Unions.”
The Grenada Cooperative League Limited is celebrating 60 years in existence while the Communal Cooperative Credit Union is celebrating its 54th anniversary.
President of the Grenada Cooperative League Limited Phillip Telesford says the credit unions in Grenada is driven by a strong financial performance with an asset base of over $800 million. “This year we are over $850 million worth of assets and our loan portfolio is performing very strong. We are already into double digits so in terms of loans for the year the profit figures from the various credit unions are looking very strong.”.
Telesford said the credit unions are looking at new ways to attract younger members and are using this year’s celebration to call for more young people to become members. “We want young people to join the movement. We have seen a lot of young people coming forward thus far especially this year, and we are very happy by that, but we continue to say that every working person in Grenada should be a member of the credit union.”
In 2017 Ariza Credit Union, saw a 16.24% increase in its membership moving from 1693 in 2016 to 2112 members in 2017 a 419 increase from the previous year. According to the Ariza Credit Union annual report for 2017, the growth experience in 2017 brought its total membership over the 15,000 milestone which resulted in an increasing market share of credit union membership from 20.42% in 2016 to 22.4% in 2017. Last year also saw an 18% growth in their loan portfolio from 12% the previous year.
The major focus going forward Telesford said is to promote and encourage entrepreneurship among their membership with a specific focus on the formation of cooperatives. “The Grenada Cooperative League limited has joined with the Ministry and the Department of Cooperatives to assist in building the productive cooperatives. We have some strong ones, but we want to encourage those not so strong to come on board to strengthen themselves because governance and management within those cooperatives are extremely important.
With regard to small and micro businesses, the Grenada Cooperative League Limited continues to finance start-up companies.
“There is a micro business facility that is being extended to members via a number of credit unions but we continue to encourage our people to become entrepreneurs. We still have a lot of work to do in terms of building proper business units within the various credit unions to ensure that we can properly assess, analyse and monitor the performance of businesses so that businesses will not fail after we give them money, but we be able to offer some level of technical assistance,” said Telesford.
International Credit Union (ICU) Day is normally celebrated on the third Thursday in October, and it brings together credit unions to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history, promote its achievements, recognise the hard work over the years. It also provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the tremendous role that credit unions play in stimulating economic development.
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