MADISON, Wis. (12/7/07)--The manner in which credit unions are utilizing microlending to reach underserved microenterprises, and how credit unions are measuring success are the subjects of two new white papers from the CUNA Councils. “Microlending and Credit Unions” from the CUNA Lending Council discusses how to reach the estimated 20 million or more microenterprises operating in the U.S.--many of which are underserved in terms of loans and technical assistance. Microlending is defined in this paper as the granting of small loans between $500 and $35,000 to small/micro businesses with five or fewer employees. The paper explores the advantages of microlending, the issues underlining development of a microlending initiative, and factors contributing to the rapid growth of microenterprise and the changing nature of today’s microentrepreneurs. The paper incorporates the case studies of how four credit unions have implemented microlending programs. The measures a credit union chooses in defining success are both a reflection on its current organizational values and an influence on the direction the credit union will take in the future. The second new white paper--“ROI Calculations and Financial Parameters” from the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council--reviews some of the most common ways that credit unions define and measure success. Compared to stockholder-owned banks, credit unions tend to put less emphasis on profit-oriented financial measures of success. Instead, many choose the “balanced scorecard” approach to measuring success by using a relatively short list of measures that cover all major areas of importance. This paper discusses various success measurements in five broad categories--financial stability, member service and satisfaction, growth, efficiency, and social mission--and how those numbers are used. CUNA Council members are entitled to complimentary copies of these white papers; non-members may purchase the white papers for a price of $50 per copy. For more information, use the link.