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Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito La Unión - Offering affordable credit and insurance to micro and small entrepreneurs in rural communities

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito La Unión

Offering affordable credit and insurance to micro and small entrepreneurs in rural communities

Dominican Republic

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito La Unión (COOPUNION) is a cooperative that offers services to approximately 16,200 associates (2014) in peri-urban and rural communities in the provinces of Hermanas Mirabal and Maria Trinidad Sánchez.

COOPUNION, founded in 2002, has branches in Salcedo (its main office), Tenares and Cabrera. Its main purpose is to contribute to the development of Salcedo and the surrounding rural communities by promoting a culture of savings and by offering cheap credit.

The commercial activities that the cooperation commonly finances are small street cafeterias (food vendors), ‘colmados’ (small  food marts), beauty parlours, small bakeries and fruit stands. COOPUNION offers savings accounts, various loans (for consumption, business, agricultural or housing-related purposes) and insurance products (life insurance and insurance related to a savings account). The cooperative also serves as an intermediary for the payment of utility bills and offers remittance services.

Since 2010, the cooperative has sponsored a public school in Salcedo by paying for generator fuel (electricity generation). This enables teachers to give classes at night to young people who otherwise would have no access to education.

The cooperative is using its loan to expand its outreach to micro and small entrepreneurs who use credit for organic cocoa cultivation, mortgages and home repairs.

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito La Unión has been an Oikocredit partner since 2012.

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