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CU System
CDFI CUs offered training on MBLs microfinance
NEW YORK (11/16/12)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is partnering with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) to provide small business and microfinance training to credit unions.

The "Scaling Up Microfinance" training series is part of the national Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund's Capacity Building Initiatives. The training exposes microfinance CDFIs to best practices in the field, and offers tools to take successful strategies to scale. The structure and experience of credit unions has been integrated into all components of the series. The training will provide opportunities for collaboration between loan funds and community development credit unions offering microfinance products.

The curriculum focuses on four themes integral to scaling microfinance operations:

  • Innovative business models;
  • New microfinance products;
  • Technology to improve performance and efficiency; and
  • Development of culture of innovation and talent management.
In January and February, eligible credit unions can participate in one of the two-day Scaling Up Microfinance training in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta.

After the initial training, credit unions can access up to 20 hours of free one-on-one technical assistance with experts from OFN, the federation, FIELD at the Aspen Institute, the Center for Financial Services Innovation, and Resources for Leadership Inc. Attendees can also participate in mentored working groups to develop solutions to challenges that may impede growth in  microfinance programs

"This effort builds on the federation's experience over the last 20 years of fostering and supporting microfinance in underserved communities across the nation," said Cathie Mahon, federation president/CEO. "That these resources are being made available at this historic moment, when we are seeing a dramatic expansion of credit unions serving low-income communities, will open the door to a vast source of lending capital to stimulate small business development and growth."

Credit unions are urging Congress to pass legislation that would raise credit unions' member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25%. The Credit Union National Association says that raising the MBL cap would help inject $13 billion in new small business loans and 140,000 new jobs into the economy, at no cost to taxpayers.

To register for the training, use the link.
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