Enterprise - The Big Challenge Award

 Excellence shown in performance in striving for The "Big Challenge" Award

In most credit union movements in both the developed and developing world, the owner-membership of credit unions is equal to or more than one third of the adult populace, on the island of Ireland it is 75%!  Put bluntly this means that if the legal field of membership, the Common Bond, is 2 million people, credit union ownership should be 666,666!  If it is 100,000, it should be 33,333!  Is yours?

Everything we do starts with the owner-member - the owner-member and all of those, i.e. all the "have mores" and "have less", within the Common Bond should be at the core of everything we do - this is co-operation. 

Often the progress of a credit union stutters or ceases as a result of the fixed term of office or defaulting of lay leaders and, to meet the base standard of the Regulators, an up-to-date Strategic Business Development Plan has to be maintained "rolling forward" for only three years.

So the Big Challenge Award is about and will be judged on at least the following ....

  1. What is the number of adults/young savers within the Common Bond as at 1/7/2019 and how many were owner-members/savers with the credit union at that time?
  2. What are the plans, both laid down (the Strategic Business Development Plan) and in hand (actually being done) to increase this number?  Please provide details of projection and performance.
  3. What methods were, are and will be deployed to achieve the planned targetted objectives of owner-member growth?  Please be specific, detailing both successes and failures.
  4. What methods both devised and used by the credit union to stimulate savings, mobilisation and share retention by adult members and Juvenile Depositors?  Please give examples
  5. What methods are being used to encourage Juvenile Depositors to progress to adult owner-membership at age 16?  Please state
  6. What methods are being used to stimulate loan applications?  Please give examples
  7. What methods are being applied to at the time of loan application to prevent loan repayment delinquency as much as possible?  Please be specific.
  8. What are the effective methods being used to effect bad debt recovery?  What is the success rate?  Please be specific.
  9. What are the savings and loans products and other services, either "member pay" or given by the credit union to attract "buy in" by all of those within the Common Bond who qualify for owner-membership of the credit union?  Please give actual examples and measurement of success.
  10. How does the credit union outreach physically to and service all of those within the Common Bond?  Please provide actual examples of achievement.
  11. How does the credit union raise its brand (credit union) and own name awareness as THE savings and loans "firm" and a force for doing good in the area of its Common Bond?  Please give examples.
  12. How does the credit union meet and overcome the compettion of all other providers of financial services within the Common Bond?  (Some of our cousins in the Republic of Ireland have caused banks to close, so it can be done!)
  13. How does the credit union ensure it has the necessary money, physical infrastructure and necessary sweat capital (lay leaders, volunteers, management, other external stakeholders) available and a place to deliver some or all of the above?
  14. How many owner-members of the credit union have taken a loan to (i) set up a business enterprise or develop an existing one, creating employment for themselves and others, or (ii) undertake further education and training?  Giving economic empowerment first and social uplift second.
  15. What are the policies, procedures and arrangements that are in place to review constantly the results achieved or any or all of these initiatives against the projected ones and to note variances and effect immediate necessary changes?
  16. In aiming to achieve any of the above - and more - what difficulties were encountered? Truth now - there is no shame in failing, just in not trying!
  17. How have any or all of these initatives started to effect positively or negatively the business "bottom line" of the credit union?  (This will be a gradual process, starting with and concentraing on the needs of the existing owner-member and those of prospective ones.)