TACOMA, Wash. (1/21/16)--The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) has shelved plans to form its own credit union and, instead, has put out a call for credit unions to expand their memberships to serve the organization’s more than 500,000 nationwide members.
USWCC will partner with CU Strategic Planning to release a request for proposals (RFP) to credit unions nationwide willing to potentially serve the organization’s membership.
The decision to join a credit union reflects the needs facing women business owners in this country, USWCC said in a press release.
“We looked at the option of chartering a new credit union, and came to the conclusion that partnering with an existing credit union is a more dynamic way to build something better cooperatively, to meet the needs of our members and their businesses, now, today,” said Margot Dorfman, USWCC CEO and co-founder. “We aren’t looking for the largest credit union, we are looking for the right credit union with which to partner to build a portfolio of women’s and small business-friendly loans and services, and in return, drive our membership to this credit union. A win-win for everyone.”
Women own roughly 9.9 million small businesses nationwide, representing only 35% of the total number of firms, according to the Census Bureau.
Even more stark, women-owned businesses generate only 4% of the nation’s revenue; 70% of the businesses earn less than $25,000 in revenue annually; and only 10% have paid employees.
USWCC said that partnering with a not-for-profit credit union is critical to helping its members address business challenges for women in this country. Interested credit unions can submit proposals until Feb. 15.
The USWCC put forth the following criteria for the type of credit union it is looking to partner with: