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old age. A comprehensive seminar presentation has been devised to address these interrelated topics. CFCCU also recognised two additional concerns. There was real need to respond to the observation made by the regional credit union movement that the leadership (officialdom) of the credit unions was aging and ‘taking the co-operative principles with them’. There were large gaps in public knowledge and perception to be filled; firstly in the area of ‘saving for financial and future sustainability’ and secondly about ‘the role and function of the co-operative credit union in our Caribbean society’. It had become clear that the credit union operatives must take the responsibility for helping to expand the knowledge base of our young members about the credit union movement and its place in modern society, about CFCCU itself, about the nature of global entrepreneurship and about governance in institutions such as ours. Thus was born the CFCCU Empowerment Sessions for the 18 – 40 now 18 - 45 age group with the objectives “to develop a greater appreciation for the role of the financial co-operative in our society; to equip participants with the tools for accessing available products and services; and to encourage younger members to offer their skills and talents to their credit union” Participants were immersed in sessions on governance, financial planning and management, origins and nature of credit unions, emerging issues on the financial landscape. In addition, they were introduced to the world of entrepreneurship through the development and presentation of their own group business project. They were also introduced to the business ventures of their peers some of whom were pursuing full time jobs but made time for a ‘side hustle’ which exposed them to the real world of owning their own business. Participants recognized the empowerment they felt through ‘the growth and development of CFCCU and its contribution to the growth and development of young people in Antigua and Barbuda’. One participant described the empowerment session as ‘an excellent learning experience which should be continued overtime as it presents an opportunity to network and make contacts, become financially empowered and provide support to the credit union’. There is a general request to ‘keep this activity going’ and an almost universal commitment to ‘encourage all my family, friends and others to become members of CFCCU’. Another participant described the sessions as ‘the best bundle of hours spent in a long time’.

Saving for a sustainable future CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION LTD.

P r o d u c t s A v a i l able Global Internet Access (GIA) Access your credit union account anytime, anywhere via the Internet. This service is available to all credit union members 18years and older. Members can sign up for this service at our office located on Old Parham Road.

GIA allows members to: • Perform balance inquiries on one or all accounts • Obtain statements for one or all accounts • Transfer funds from accounts • Transfer funds across accounts (from one member to another) • Execute bill payments • Update Personal Information • Request embassy statements

Community First

Individual Retirement Account (CFIRA)

• The CFIRA is available to members 18yrs - 60yrs • Members must not be more than 50yrs to qualify • Participants are required to begin this plan with EC$1000.00 minimum. • A minimum monthly deposit of $100 must be maintained • Interest rate 6% annually, calculated on the minimum quarterly balance • Plan matures at age 60 • Special conditions apply

Some participants have already added to the products and services they had prior to the course. Two have become officials, serving on the Board and Credit Committee. One is working on the production of CFCCU Television ads.

Community First

Empowerment Session No. 2 will contain many of the same elements as the first and participants will, in addition - enjoy the privilege of hearing first hand from Mr. Leon Lourens, the consultant currently assisting the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) in the implementation of its Business Incubation project. He will share his knowledge about the importance of developing a culture of entrepreneurship. Graduates of the first class will be on hand as co-presenters and assessors providing support for the CFCCU Management Team and Business Development Officer.

• The CFESA is available to members 0-18yrs • The account can be opened by a parent or legal guardian • Participants are required to begin this plan with EC$500.00 minimum • A minimum monthly deposit of $50 must be maintained • Interest rate 5% annually, calculated on the minimum quarterly balance • Plan matures at age 18 • Special conditions apply

Our intention is to continue to seek innovative ways to provide sound “co-operative” education to our members. We the organizers feel truly empowered to continue with the process of bringing our credit union community closer together. BY Ingrid O’Marde CFCCU

Educational Savings Account (CFESA)


Vendors Mall - Heritage Quay CFCCU Office - Old Parham Road

P.O. BOX 1632, OLD PARHAM RD., ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA, TEL: (268) 481-3961 / 481-3950 * FAX: (268) 481-3975 EMAIL:* BusinessFocus • December/January 11/12 29 BusinessFocus • December/January 11/12 | 29 BusinessFocus • December/January 11/12 | |29

Business Focus Antigua Issue 40  
Business Focus Antigua Issue 40  

As 2011 comes to a close and we enter 2012, the forecast for the world economy continues to be news of job cuts and hints of a "double dip"...