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Global Women’s Leadership Network announced its 2023 Empowerment Grant winners: Enkhchimeg Nergui, partnership specialist, Mongolian National Confederation of Credit Unions, and Violet Ndungu, CEO, Muki Sacco (Kenya).
Each will receive a grant of US $10,000 to implement projects aimed at advancing social and community impact efforts, and to uplift their members and communities. Project implementation will start in September and run through July 2024.
“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,” explained 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.”
Enkhchimeg Nergui gave a presentation on her proposal to create 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.
Violet Ndungu presented the ways her SACCO would use the grant dollars to promote the commercialization 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.
The four scholars were originally supposed to give presentations on their proposals during the 2022 World Credit Union Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, but were unable to attend due to visa issues.
Each year, GWLN offers scholarships to encourage women leaders to attend the annual World Credit Union Conference.
Empowerment grants were first offered in 2014, and past projects included the creation of business development centers in financial cooperatives to help female entrepreneurs, the development of a series of financial fitness workshops for young females as they get ready for college, and the design and implementation of a communication strategy to reach financially-excluded youth and women.
Empowerment Grant and scholarship funding is made possible through annual memberships and corporate donations, including generous support from Co-op Solutions, OneAZ Credit Union, Origence, PSCU and TruStage.