Our Commitment to Puerto Rico
FROM THE DEVASTATION CAUSED BY HURRICANE MARIA TO MORE INCLUSIVE AND RESILIENT LOCAL ECONOMIES
Strengthening Puerto Rico's network of financial cooperatives is a proven and effective mechanism to support the economic revitalization of vulnerable communities and help them prepare for future disasters. With over 45 years of experience in building the reach and impact of grassroots financial institutions, Inclusiv commits to developing the capacity of the island's financial cooperatives to benefit Puerto Ricans not served by the traditional banking system.
ONE MILLION MEMBERS STRONG
Puerto Rico's network of 106 CDFI eligible cooperatives have 1.1M member-owners and control $9B in community assets. They originate 40% of all small dollar loans on the island and have $5B in loans outstanding.
PUERTO RICO CDFI INITIATIVE
Following Hurricane Maria, Inclusiv worked closely with national credit union industry partners such as the National Credit Union Foundation through its CUAID platform to raise funds to aid staff and volunteers of Puerto Rican cooperatives. The New York Credit Union Foundation and Inclusiv joined forces to raise and distribute more than $500,000 in disaster relief grants to help employees and volunteers of the local financial cooperatives and enable the institutions restore operations. As this humanitarian relief effort went underway, Inclusiv realized the need for a more comprehensive capacity building strategy to strengthen the cooperatives’ ability to assist with the rebuilding process and participate in the creation of more equitable and resilient local economies. It became very clear that for the financial cooperatives to be able to maximize their potential to serve their members, grow their operations to serve new members, and increase their lending in affected areas, they would need to raise longer-term capital to support that growth and build the reserves needed to take on the increased risk of lending in a post-disaster environment. This is how the Puerto Rico CDFI Initiative was born.
IMPACT TO DATE
- Ninety financial cooperatives have joined the Inclusiv Network.
- Seventy-nine financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico have obtained CDFI certification.
- $69M in CDFI awards have been channeled to the financial cooperative sector.
- Twenty-nine capacity-building online webinars have been delivered.
- Provided hands on technical support for more than thirty-six financial cooperatives to submit their CDFI certification applications.
- Four CDFI convenings have been hosted through which critical training has been provided to hundreds of leaders.
- Sixteen Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) deployed in financial cooperatives.
- Racial Equity and Certification Grants to more than 46 financial cooperatives totaling $322,500. Grants were used for CDFI certification associated costs and COVID-19 response.
- Provided training solar financing training opportunities to local lenders.
- Three MOUs signed: 1) One with the Public Corporation for the Supervision and Insurance of Cooperativas in Puerto Rico (COSSEC) to develop a secondary capital product, facilitate the submission of impact and compliance reports to the CDFI Fund, and build an effective financial inclusion framework for local cooperatives, 2) One with the SBA to promote financial cooperative participation in SBA products and services, increasing lending to small businesses and entrepreneur; and 3) Another with the Liga de Cooperativas collaborative agreement with the League of Cooperatives of Puerto Rico (LIGA) to develop an educational framework to promote financial inclusion, community development, and CDFI Certification for cooperativas in the island.
- Engaged the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Treasury Department's CDFI Fund, Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in our work.
- Promoted collaborations with CDFI credit unions on the mainland.
- Partnered with the Federal Reserve system to promote their Investment Connect program and participation of financial cooperatives in the bi-annual CDFI survey. To date, Puerto Rico is the region with the highest survey participation rate.
- Two financial cooperatives participated in the launch of Inclusiv’s Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy, which brings together credit unions from Puerto Rico and the mainland to develop a consistent and scalable approach to make renewable energy technologies available to low and moderate-income consumers, as well as vulnerable communities.
- Organized, with the support of the Clinton Foundation, a roundtable between cooperative leaders and representatives of the investment community.
- Recognized Cooperativa Jesus Obrero as the first financial institution in Puerto Rico to earn the Juntos Avanzamos designation, a financial inclusion framework to connect immigrants to the financial mainstream. Puerto Rico has a large immigrant population that will benefit from the financial inclusion framework provided by this program.
- Established the first Pathways Credit Union in Puerto Rico, Cooperativa Jesús Obrero, introducing the concept of financial counseling and coaching to the cooperative system.
INCLUSIV PLEDGES COMMITMENT TO ACTION AT 2019 CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE ACTION NETWORK CONVENING
Inclusiv and the Asociación de Ejecutivos de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico (ASEC) announced a public “Commitment to Action” to expand our Puerto Rico CDFI Initiative at the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 2019. President Bill Clinton convened the meeting of business, public service and civic leaders to develop new, specific and measurable plans to advance recovery and promote long-term resiliency across the Caribbean. Click here to learn more about our commitment to action in Puerto Rico.
Since the launch of the initiative, ninety financial cooperatives have joined the Inclusiv credit union network, and more than thirty seven have received CDFI awards (in purple):
Pablo DeFilippi, Executive Vice President, Inclusiv Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
René Vargas Martínez, Director, Puerto Rico Network at email@example.com
Keyshla Molina Zayas, Program Officer, Puerto Rico Network at firstname.lastname@example.org