“[M]any would say it’s the women who are borrowing money for business purposes, not the men,” says Loree Gray, senior vice president of operations at First West Credit Union, who travelled to Ghana, Africa, to volunteer in the Canadian Cooperative Association’s (CCA) credit union coaching program.
Gray observed first-hand how hard Ghanaian women work, simultaneously taking care of their children while selling their goods – including negotiating prices – at their roadside stalls. These entrepreneurial women are also inspiring change within their communities and advancing their businesses, thanks to the savings and loan support they receive from credit unions.
“The work international credit unions and cooperatives undertake in places like Ghana is literally life changing,” says Gray.
First West has contributed more than $305,000 to international development efforts. ◊