Social Enterprise, Women's Empowerment and Access to Finance: MedUP! project, Ramallah, West Bank, OPT
Saving and credit cooperatives can be an important financial tool for people on low incomes. However, these cooperatives come with certain challenges that can hinder their usefulness to their members and wider society. The Union of Cooperative Associations for Saving and Credit (UCASC) was established in 2005 to address these issues. Now the national legal umbrella for saving and credit cooperatives in Palestine, it provides assessment-driven services including training, education and information to all stakeholders, and has developed financial tools for its member cooperatives. UCASC has helped to promote women’s economic empowerment, increasing income opportunities for youth and women and supporting social enterprises. A central aim of the organization is to support poor and marginalized women in accessing finance and finding sustainable ways of generating income.