The La Inmaculada Credit Union has won a number of local and international recognitions over the years for their outstanding growth both in membership and financially. Tonight LICU has another award to add to the already lengthy list as they have been named the proud winners of the Excellence in Microfinance transparency award in the Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Award program in the Caribbean. Here’s a look at their success.
Dalila Ical – Reporting
The La Inmaculada Credit Union is the proud winner of the Excellence in Microfinance transparency award in the Citi Micro entrepreneurship Award program in the Caribbean. Here’s a look at their success.
Master of ceremonies
“The 2013 Citi Micro entrepreneurship award of Micro finance goes to La Inmaculada Credit Union, Belize....”
The La Inmaculada Credit Union was presented with the award at the second annual Citi Micro entrepreneurship Award ceremony held in Kingston Jamaica on October 31st this year. The Award Program, funded by the Citi Foundation, recognizes microfinance institutions and micro entrepreneurs to raise awareness on microfinance in the Caribbean and the role of micro entrepreneurs in the economy. Accepting the award was LICU’s General Manager, Yolanda Gomez.
“The owners of this organization, of the La Inmaculada Credit Union, are actually those who use our services and we refer to them as member owners rather than clients because they are not just customers they are owners of this Credit Union. We have a membership of close to eighteen thousand and we have an asset base of some US$21 million with a portfolio of close to US$18 million as well. Our main source of funding is the savings of all these eighteen thousand plus people come together pooling up resources.”
In a release issued, it states that Belize’s LICU was awarded for “its dedication to informing clients of the terms and details of their financial services and actively educating and training them on how best to utilize the credit union’s services”. Credit Manager Reinaldo Novelo and Project Coordinator, Albino Vargas elaborate...
Reinaldo Novelo – Credit Manager
“So the member has a clear understanding for new micro business loans, it is very important to start generating income and that is why we allow them a grace period whereby their business can start making a turnover and once they are fully established they will be able to do their monthly do their repayment.”
Albino Vargas – Project Coordinator
“We have an inclusion of 1364 individuals in the rural communities who otherwise would have remained excluded from the financial system, we have also mobilized from the rural communities from this short period of time a little five thousand Belize dollars, the ultimate objective is the property alleviation and promotion for employment, this is to be achieved through financial inclusion through our capacity building.”
It is no surprise then that after such effort and dedication, the LICU is elated with the recognition.
“We are overjoyed and humbled by the fact that we, our efforts and our dedications and our commitment to our users of our service, to our members’ owners, the public and the community at large are indeed being recognized.”
Three awards were presented: a special award for excellence in micro entrepreneurship in Surinam of three thousand US dollar to Chef Jurgen Emilio Boodie of Restuarant JiJi’s; the excellence in micro finance product innovation award of five thousand US dollars to Access Financial Services Ltd in Jamaica and the excellence in microfinance transparency award of five thousand US dollars to Belize’s LICU. Winners were also presented with a plaque and a video of their microenterprise or microfinance institution.
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