Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leading Edge Credit Union to Host a Woman Credit Union Manager from Africa

I am pleased to report that Leading Edge Credit Union will be hosting a Woman working in the Credit Union system in Africa. The bio of the sponsored lady has not been made available yet however we are extremely excited to receive this news.
In January 2012, while I was away in Uganda, members of the Port aux Basques Branch and Corporate office completed an application under the CCA Womens Mentorship Program (WMP). The program will see 15 Credit Union Women leaders from 9 countries come to Canada on May 7th for two weeks training and knowledge sharing. May 10th-20th our sponsor will be hosted by Leading Edge Credit Union staff. During this time, the sponsor will be introduced to our best practices of managing a Credit Union and also be exposed to our culture and way of life.
Zirobwe Credit Union home of Rita
The goal of this program is to provide tangible experience to these leaders so that they can implement the knowledge gained in their own Credit Union. The Credit Union in their communities is so vital to the success of the community that ensuring sustainability of the system is critical. During my visit in Uganda I had the the opportunity to visit Zirobwe Credit Union (SACCO). The manager Rita, was a former participant in the WMP in Canada. It was clear from reviewing her branch operations that she had implemented a significant amout of the knowledge that she gained from her experience.  The branch had well defined policies and procedures, was neat and tidy, and had adequate risk controls. The relationships with the members were secure and the branch was growing significantly. It was very rewarding to talk to her and see the impact of this program first hand. It was comforting to know that this experience improved many lives, beyond Rita.

I will keep the blog updated with our sponsor information as soon as it becomes available. The great news is that we scheduled our annual general meeting date around the time when our sponsor will be visiting us. For those membership that attend the AGM they will get to hear hopefully her story and life in Africa.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Honourable Keith Hutchings Address on Co-operatives

Statement by
Honourable Keith Hutchings
Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
March 12, 2012

Co-operatives Contributing to Community and Business Development

Mr. Speaker, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are home to some well-established co-operatives that have contributed greatly to community and business development.  We are also home to newer co-operatives that hold tremendous promise.In southern Labrador, when the Bank of Montreal withdrew its operations, residents stepped-up, mobilized their resources, and formed the Eagle River Credit Union.  It was a collective effort that ensured that the delivery of financial services would continue and today it has accumulated more than $79 million in assets.By pooling valuable resources so that it could better access equipment and expertise, the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-operative has helped grow the sector to $30 million – up from $2 million a decade ago.  More recently, Seed to Spoon has emerged as a co-operative that sells locally-grown produce to restaurants, residents, and the St. John’s Farmer Market.  It is proving to be a positive relationship among co-operatives, local farmers, and community members, directly linking products with consumers.  In January, I accompanied representatives from local co-operatives at the Canadian launch of the International Year of Co-operatives.  Just last week, I was pleased to join several local co-operatives in formally proclaiming 2012 as the Year of Co-operatives in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a government, we view co-operatives as being integral in community and economic development.  Co-operatives serve a key role in developing industry sectors and addressing market demands. In the coming weeks, the Provincial Government will be renewing its Memorandum of Understanding with the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives. We want to build off the progress made from our 2007 agreement, which positioned this province as a leader in Canada for our working relationship with the provincial co-operative business association. Mr. Speaker, the door is open to further strengthen and develop co-operatives.  This MOU is one important step in that process. Co-operatives are good for communities, they are good for industry growth, and they are good for the province. Over the course of 2012, I encourage all members of this Honourable house to join in celebrating the value of co-operatives in their own districts. 
Thank You