Woccu’s Global Women’s Leadership Network announces empowerment grant winners

The network, launched to improve gender equity in the credit union sector, will give $10,000 to each of the two winners

Two credit union leaders from Kenya and Mongolia will receive grants from the Global Women’s Leadership Network to implement projects aimed at advancing social and community impact efforts, and to uplift their members and communities. 

This year the network – set up by the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu) – is awarding grants to Enkhchimeg Nergui, partnership specialist at the Mongolian National Confederation of Credit Unions, and Violet Ndungu, CEO of Muki Sacco in Kenya.

Each will receive a grant of US$10,000 for their projects.

Nergui’s proposal focuses on creating a local business ecosystem in rural Mongolia that allows credit union members that are part of yak and sheep herder communities to diversify their income and promote eco-friendly and sustainable cashmere production.

Ndungu’s saving and credit co-op (Sacco) will use the grant dollars to promote the commercialisation of dairy farmers through strengthening and capacity building, increased dairy production, promoting new feed production technologies, and improving access to savings and loans for women and youth on dairy farms.

“I am truly grateful and honoured to receive this grant on the behalf of the Mongolian National Confederation of Credit Unions. First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to those who voted for us on this grant selection. This is our first ever international grant project to be implemented solidly led by our organisation. We see this opportunity as a stepping point to further success. Through this grant, we are looking forward to working with our credit union members at the local level to establish an online trading platform which would enable our credit union members to sell their products locally and internationally. I also would like to wish success to the other winning team on their project implementation,” said Nergui.

“I am really excited to have won the empowerment grant, it will go a long way in training, capacity building for the rural farmers (mostly the women and youth) of Nyandarua to commercialise their dairy farming. By commercialising, they will, in the future, increase their incomes, to be able to meet their basic needs e.g feed their children, educate their children generally improving the socio and economic wellbeing. I will forever be grateful for the chance GWLN gave to me and my community,” said Ndung.

“Four 2022 GWLN scholarship winners submitted empowerment grant proposals and were selected to present very distinct credit union projects on improving access to financial service products, savings and leadership opportunities for women in their communities,” said GWLN director Eleni Giakoumopoulos.

“The four finalists made their presentations on July 23 during the GWLN Forum at the 2023 World Credit Union Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Forum attendees were asked to evaluate the presentations and proposals on their financial inclusivity, sustainability, creativity, planning and connection to GWLN, and ultimately vote to select two winners.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for these women to continue their efforts making impactful change in their communities, all through the support of GWLN.”

Related: World Credit Union Conference attended by over 3,000 delegates

In addition to these grants, GWLN also offers scholarships to encourage women leaders to attend the annual World Credit Union Conference.

GWLN has been offering empowerment grants since 2014, with winning projects including the creation of business development centres in financial co-operatives to help female entrepreneurs, the development of a series of financial fitness workshops for young women as they get ready for college, and the design and implementation of a communication strategy to reach financially excluded youth and women.

One of the original diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives established by Woccu in 2009, GWLN aims to provide women in the credit union arena a forum to discuss issues to further their professional and personal journeys.

Those wishing to support the GWLN empowerment grants can contact GWLN at [email protected]. Corporate sponsors of grants include Co-op SolutionsOneAZ Credit UnionOrigencePSCU and TruStage.