Co-operative Assistance Network Limited

CAN launches Business Lending Readiness Training for Credit Unions

Credit Unions have been legally allowed to accept corporate members and provide loans to them since 2012. This has opened up the possibility of community-based Credit Unions (as community businesses, co-operatives and social enterprises themselves) becoming key lenders to local community businesses, co-operatives and social enterprises. They are able to make smaller loans of a few thousand pounds for working capital and purchases of relatively small items like vehicles.

Many Credit Unions can improve their own business performance if more of their cash was invested in secure, well performing loans rather than on deposit with clearing banks (and who knows what use they put it to?). They can certainly improve their Social Impact performance if they make critical differences to the capacity of locally-based social enterprises to deliver much-needed services to their local communities and increase local employment in doing so.

It is easier said than done, however. Many Credit Unions have neither the policies and systems nor expertise in place to administer this new business nor the time and resources to acquire them for what is – after all – not their core business. Credit Unions are also justifiably risk-averse and need to know that risk of losses can be minimised, and ideally avoided completely.

CAN has now developed a scheme for accomplishing all the above (including risk-avoidance) and a training programme to deliver it affordably. Our Business Lending Readiness Training for Credit Unions programme has just been piloted with its first client Credit Union and is now shaken down and ready for delivery for any Credit Union.

Incidentally, this first Credit Union sold the concept to its Local Authority who are only too aware of the problems of small social enterprises accessing the working capital required to offer services to their own procurement teams and funded both the training and the staff time for the in-house work!

If you would like to know more, open the conversation with John Merritt, our Credit Union Sector Lead at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Co-operative Assistance Network Limited

is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014

 No. 30714R 

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