Monday, August 15, 2011

16 "crazy ladies" = Mongolia's first credit union

The way Batta T. tells it, Mongolia's first credit union was started by "16 crazy ladies". Batta is the Chief Executive Officer of the Mongolian Confederation of Credit Unions (MOCCU), a Moncord Credit Union board member and a 2011 graduate of CCA's Women's Mentorship Program.

This morning, Sarah and I went to visit Moncord, which was established in 1996 (Mongolia's CU movement is very young) and today is the country's largest in terms of membership and second-largest in terms of assets.

Batta (right) and Moncord board chair Daria at the CU

The "16 crazy ladies" were members of a women's economic club that were concerned about the problems women were having obtaining loans for their small businesses. After a month of training by two credit union profesionals from the Philippines ("We met in shopping centres, cafes, wherever was convenient", they started writing Moncord's bylaws...and the rest is history.

The visit to Moncord was not just a lesson in CU history, it was also an opportunity to find out about the concrete results of CCA's coaching program. Last year, CCA coaches Trudy Rasmuson (who is on this year's mission) and Martin McInnis (who couldn't make it this time around) spent the better part of a week with Moncord and today,they have already implemented many of the coaches' recommendations. They have improved security at the CU, revised the loan application forms, and made changes to the way loan applicants are evaluated. And most importantly, they have incorporated all the recommendations into Moncord's business plan, so that these reforms are an integral part of their planning and operations.

How exciting to witness the impact of CCA's work first-hand!

-- Donna Balkan

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