Guatemala is one of the countries with the highest social and economic inequality in the world and a long-standing historical background of social exclusion.
In the country, cooperatives make significant contributions towards reducing MSMEs and marginalized populations entry barriers to compete within the economic system. In addition, cooperatives provide their members with benefits according to their specific needs. This includes the creation and preservation of jobs in the cooperative sector.
In Guatemala there are almost 1,000 active cooperatives and 325 of them are savings and credit cooperatives (SCC) with approximately 2.2 million members. There are also secondary institutions such as CONFECOAC, the confederation of the SCC group MICOOPE, which affiliates the country´s 25 biggest SCC with approximately 1.9 million members.
CONFECOAC is responsible for the economic and political representation of its affiliated SCC’s interests. This organization comprises two regional federations which provide the SCC sector with trainings, education and human resource capability building activities. In addition, the MiCoope group includes a cooperative insurance company, which offers micro insurances to its almost 2 million members and a protection fund with integrated supervision to protect the savings.
Target groups of the project are MSMEs and micro and small-scale producers in rural and urban marginalized areas, particularly young people (ages 14-25, according to the UN) and those threatened by displacement. The aforementioned groups are organized and represented in the MiCoope system or rather CONFECOAC. Through the cooperation with CONFECOAC at a meso level, DGRV’s subproject contributes to the expansion of financial inclusion via the affiliation of SCC. Through consulting and training activities, MiCoope’s network system will be able to offer better financial services.
The establishment of a systematic training system is a further goal of the project, including also the financial education of the SCC members. Advisory activities on the integration of SCC into banking supervision will further stabilize the system and ensure the security of its members (macro level). In this area, DGRV collaborates with relevant authorities for the cooperative sector (for example Guatemala’s banking supervisory authority SIB, as well as the national institute of cooperatives, INACOOP, and finally the national supervisory authority of the cooperatives, INGECOOP).
The principal activities of DGRV´s project in Guatemala can be summarized across sectors with the following topics:
Is a cooperative association of the SCC sector in Guatemala. It represents a solidary financial system specialized in financial intermediation activities. The main objective is to contribute to improving the quality of life of Guatemalans by providing high quality financing solutions.
CONFECOAC is the cooperative integration body that brings together the representation of the Guatemalan cooperative sector at a national level. CONFECOAC represents the sector nationally and promotes the integration of cooperatives and its sustainability.
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