Inclusiv Announces Commitment to Action at Clinton Global Initiative Action Network Convening
For Immediate Release
New York, NY (March 21, 2019) - Inclusiv and the Asociación de Ejecutivos de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico (ASEC) announced a public “Commitment to Action” at the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier this year. President Bill Clinton convened the meeting of business, public service and civic leaders to develop new, specific and measurable plans to advance recovery and promote long-term resiliency across the Caribbean.
Inclusiv launched this Commitment to Action to expand its Puerto Rico CDFI Initiative, with the hosting of the 2019 CDFI Convening for Financial Cooperatives in San Juan, Puerto Rico last month . Over 150 leaders from 55 financial cooperatives actively participated in the event, which focused on CDFI certification, technical and financial assistance grants, small and micro loans, and resiliency building.
As part of the commitment to action announced on January 29, Inclusiv and ASEC seek to:
- Elevate the profile of local financial cooperatives as an effective platform to promote the revitalization of economically depressed communities.
- Educate entities from the public and private sector about the role of financial cooperatives as a vehicle to direct investments and resources to low income consumers and rural communities historically marginalized from the financial mainstream.
- Encourage the transformation of the financial cooperative movement by promoting the adoption of the CDFI business model and increase the number of CDFI certified cooperatives. The goal is to leverage the capacity of these community owned financial institutions in the building of more inclusive and resilient economies.
- Connect financial cooperatives with CDFI certified and Juntos Avanzamos credit unions in the mainland.
- Identify resources that can be directed to strengthening the institutional capacity of financial cooperatives to expand affordable, yet sustainable lending in high impact areas. Such as the adoption of clean energy technology, along with resiliency financing, and micro and small business loans.
Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of Inclusiv, commented on the role financial cooperatives have played in the island's recovery and the importance of CDFI certification, "Puerto Rico’s network of financial cooperatives has played a critical role in mitigating the impact of the financial crisis and natural disasters affecting the island. The CDFI certification can facilitate their access to external resources benefiting more than one million people currently served”.
The interest and participation generated among the financial cooperatives is the result of the close partnership Inclusiv has developed with the ASEC. This partnership has garnered the support from key partners both in the island (BanCoop, Seguros Multiples, CUNA Mutual Group) and in the mainland (the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Citi, and a growing coalition of credit unions and organizations).
“This public recognition of Inclusiv and our partners will help us strengthen the network and continue to provide a lifeline for vulnerable consumers and communities," said Mahon.
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification is a designation given by the CDFI Fund to specialized organizations that provide financial services in low-income communities and to people who lack access to financing. CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, and non-regulated institutions like loan and venture capital funds. By building the capacity of a nationwide network of CDFIs, the CDFI Fund works to empower low-income and underserved people and communities to enter the financial mainstream.
Inclusiv was instrumental in establishing the CDFI Fund in 1994, is a permanent member of the national CDFI Coalition and is the CDFI and community finance authority for the credit union industry. Our member CDCUs represent over 8 million members in low-income communities across the US, representing the majority of all CDFI-certified credit unions. Today, CDFI certification is an essential credential for credit unions with a focus on financial inclusion. Inclusiv is the credit union industry's best resource for learning more about certification and technical and financial assistance grants. For more information on our advocacy on behalf of CDFI credit unions, click here.
At Inclusiv, we believe that true financial inclusion and empowerment is a fundamental right. We dedicate ourselves to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. Inclusiv is a certified CDFI intermediary that transforms local progress into lasting national change. We provide capital, make connections, build capacity, develop innovative products and services and advocate for our member community development credit unions (CDCUs). Inclusiv members serve over eight million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US and hold over $90 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, Inclusiv is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in Madison, WI and Atlanta, GA. For more information about Inclusiv visit us at Inclusiv.org and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.