Elissa McCarter LaBorde
President and CEO  World Council of Credit Unions

Elissa McCarter LaBorde began serving as World Council of Credit Unions’ President and CEO in August 2021, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading organizations in delivering financial services to underserved communities across the globe. For the previous 12 years, Ms. LaBorde served as Chief Executive Officer of Vitas Group, a for-profit holding company she established under Global Communities, an international development and humanitarian aid organization that operates in 27 countries. Ms. LaBorde also served for 16 years as Global Communities’ Vice President of Development Finance, overseeing the non-profit organization’s strategy, investment and thought leadership in financial inclusion. Ms. LaBorde holds Masters’ degrees from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

The president and CEO of Woccu wants the sector to take leadership on ‘financial inclusion with a focus on digital innovation, climate resilience and productive lending’

December 29, 2023

Co-operative News

How has the last year been for the global credit union movement? 

As we close another year, the global credit union movement once again faces political, social and economic challenges that test our resolve and undermine a long-standing belief that a rising global tide will lift all boats.

Because credit unions and financial co-operatives continue to stand for co-operation, shared purpose and people over profit – it is precisely during these uncertain times that the significance and value of our movement is more needed and relevant than ever.

In 2023, Woccu made bold strides to increase that relevance by pushing for greater climate resilience, empowering more youth, women, refugees and migrants through financial inclusion efforts, and investing in innovation pilots to extend the reach of credit unions to underserved customers through inclusive digital financial services.

Our International Advocacy team secured wins on proportionality and financial inclusion in the guidance International Standard-Setting Bodies hand down to regulators – levelling the playing field for credit unions. We delivered a record-breaking (over 3,000 attendees) annual conference together with the Canadian Credit Union Association in Vancouver, where we also launched our Climate Influencers Network to signal credit unions’ leadership position on the global journey to a net-zero carbon economy.

I can think of no better way to end the year than my trip in early December to Ecuador and Peru, where I met first-hand beneficiaries, employees, partners and government officials who showed an impressive commitment to the sea change Woccu has initiated through its Economic Inclusion Project, which has helped more than 123,000 Venezuelan migrants and vulnerable local residents obtain formal financial services, as well as entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. More than 60 partners – including financial institutions, fintechs, governments and regulators, municipalities and universities, and civic organisations – work with EIP to achieve a common understanding of how to acknowledge the dignity of people, many of them women who are also victims of domestic violence and were forced to flee their home country and find new opportunity that often is biased against them. We are proud that USAID considers this a flagship program in the region and renewed the project through June 2026.

Woccu also continues its work with USAID and the private sector to put credit unions at the centre of closing the credit gap for underserved populations by accelerating SME lending to underserved businesses in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Guatemala. And in Ukraine, we continue to help small farmers access loans and contribute to the nation’s food security during wartime, while leading new resilience-focused lending for women-led micro-enterprises.

Looking ahead, we will continue to press credit unions to take more leadership in advancing financial inclusion with a focus on digital innovation, climate resilience and productive lending to support the resilient livelihoods of those who rely on us for investing in their futures.

Kredietunie Nederland (VKN) is op 1 augustus 2013 opgericht.
VKN wil zo dicht mogelijk bij het oorspronkelijk concept van de
kredietunie blijven, op basis van de in ons land geldende wettelijke
regels en van internationaal geaccepteerde voorwaarden
(“Governance”, “compliance”, gedragscode, regels voor een
behoorlijke bedrijfsvoering etc.).

Deze tijd vraagt om anders  ondernemen. Jonge talenten, ambitieuze ondernemers en  innovatieve  start-ups strijden nog altijd voor hun plekje op de markt. Maar waar het vroeger “ieder voor zich” was is in deze tijd samenwerken, co-creëren en netwerkvorming heel normaal geworden. Ondernemers zoeken elkaar op, werken samen aan producten en diensten of delen  kosten en resources. Jonge ondernemers proberen netwerken te ontwikkelen met  collega’s, jong én oud.

Deze tijd vraagt daarom ook om andere vormen van financiering  en kredietverlening. Naast de traditionele financiering via de banken zijn nieuwe vormen in opkomst, zoals crowdfunding.

De vorm die misschien wel het meest past bij deze nieuwe tijd:

Een kredietunie is een samenwerkingsverband waarin jongere en oudere ondernemers een gemeenschappelijke kas
opbouwen om kredieten te verlenen aan leden-deelnemers.
Deelnemers ontmoeten en helpen elkaar met geld, coaching en begeleiding. Samen voor het beste resultaat.

Kredietunies: van, voor en door ondernemers


Kredietunie Nederland is een vrijwilligersorganisatie, die
ondernemers helpt een kredietunie op te zetten en er een succes van te maken. Daarnaast behartigt de Vereniging de belangen van haar leden.

KN is een boetiek:
-een keurmerk voor verantwoorde kredietverlening en
-een waarborg voor integere transparante bedrijfsvoering

Nieuwsbrief nummer 39, 30 juni 2024
Voor nadere informatie:
Roland Lampe,