Accelerate Financial Inclusion in Your Community

Implement ITIN Lending and Small Business Lending at Your Financial Institution

Is your credit union or financial institution looking for practical and proven tools to drive financial inclusion in your community? Attend one of these FREE workshops to accelerate your financial inclusion efforts. 

Accelerate Financial Inclusion in Your Community

A learning opportunity supported by Juntos Avanzamos: brought to you by Coopera, Filene Research Institute, Inclusiv, and PolicyWorks; featuring small business lending partners Accion and Grameen America.

Filene, Inclusiv, PolicyWorks and Coopera share a collective cooperative DNA and the conviction that big issues in credit unions and community oriented financial institutions require collaboration and leveraging our strengths. So, we are proud to offer a series of workshops 

Mariana and her family received an ITIN loan to help refinance their family car.

A credit union in Mariana's community helped her and her family get a considerably lower rate on an auto loan through an ITIN lending program. Mariana says that she and her husband, loyal members of their credit union, are now working to build credit to be able to buy a home.

that will focus on giving credit unions and community-oriented financial institutions tools to effectively drive financial inclusion in their communities. Together we can help you do more for your members, clients, constituents and community.

These workshops will teach financial institutions to implement ITIN Lending while they engage a new, broader community of consumers in their locality and make a substantial difference in the lives of borrowers. The workshop’s principles of driving financial inclusion, reaching and serving untapped and underserved markets such as the Hispanic community, and operationalizing ITIN Lending is based on over 20 years of experience with the Juntos Avanzamos program and the work of organizations such as Coopera.

Sara received a small-dollar loan to launch her business.

Sara received a $500 loan from her credit union to pay for permits and ingredients to start her tamale business. Over the next few years, Sara received two additional micro-loans and continued to learn and refine her business model into what is now Sara's Tamales, LLC, a self-sustaining and profitable business.

These workshops will also empower financial institutions to offer small business loans to underserved entrepreneurs through a new referral partnership with Accion and Grameen America. Credit unions and other financial institutions can enable inclusive economies by expanding access to small business lending. In doing so, they will build in-house capacity and grow their membership.

We want to thank Visa for their generous financial support and guidance that makes these workshops possible.

Answers to all your questions.

Who should attend?

Any credit union or financial institution wanting practical and proven tools to drive financial inclusion should attend these workshops. These workshops are not a sit back and relax conference. They are actionable sessions where participants will get their hands dirty and learn practical knowledge and skills to implement ITIN Lending and Small Business Lending Referral programs.

Accordingly, we recommend financial institutions send 3-5 staff members needed to operationalize these programs and have the decision-making authority to get the job done. Suggested staff include: Chief Lending Officer, Diversity & Inclusion managers, Legal and Compliance, and Marketing.

How much does it cost?

These workshops and all workshop materials are free to attendees. All travel and accommodations (if needed) are the responsibility of attendees.

Does my organization have to be a member/client of Coopera, Filene, Inclusiv, or PolicyWorks to attend?

Nope! Any financial institution interested in implementing ITIN Lending and/or the Small Business Referral program are welcome to attend.

What will I learn?

The workshops will cover multiple topics to prepare your organization to expand financial inclusion in your community through a series of interactive exercises. Topics include:

Generating Buy-in at All Levels of Your Organization: Build a roadmap to socialize ITIN Lending and Small Business Lending as part of a larger effort to bring financial inclusion to your community. Together we will build the business case for impacting your organization and community’s bottom line.

Engaging Diverse Communities and Build Trust: There is no one size fits all strategy to engage the Hispanic community, immigrant populations, and other vulnerable populations. Work with your colleagues to explore the cultural nuances that matter when building trust with your members.

Regulations and Compliance: As with any new loan growth, regulations and compliance are critical components to the success of the credit union. Learn more about applicable regulations and compliance considerations and discover best practices to work with your regulators and compliance teams.

Operations: Using established principles and examples, develop an operational plan to implement and deliver ITIN Lending and the Small Business Lending Referral program.

Action Plan: Beyond learning, you will leave the workshop with a plan. You will have action steps and a timeline, built on best practices, to take back to your organization.

    What commitment is required?

    Workshop Survey: Prior to the workshop, complete a brief survey (10 min) to understand your financial institution’s current state, priorities, and challenges. This information will help us customize and add value to your workshop experience.

    Pre-Work: To make the most of these in-person workshops, we ask each participating financial institution to complete approximately ten hours of pre-work. This knowledge will be used during workshop activities and help you create a customized action plan.

    Operationalize: These workshops are about action, we ask each participating institution to socialize and begin implementation of their ITIN Lending and Small Business Lending Referral program by the end of 2019.

    Share and Learn: Together we can expand financial inclusion, share best practices, and understand the impact of our collective work. Financial institutions are asked to share impact data (e.g., number of loans and referrals issued) with Filene Research Institute for analysis and communication to the marketplace.

        I’m only interested in one of these topics- can I come for a portion of the workshop?

        If your financial institution is committed to either ITIN Lending or the Small Business Lending Referral program, but not both, please indicate your limitations in your application form. Priority will be given to financial institutions willing to implement both programs.

        Who can I reach out to if I have questions?

        Please reach out to any of our partner organizations with questions on the workshop or to learn about ways to engage your community.

        Filene Research Institute: Stephanie Ricketts ([email protected])

        Coopera Consulting: Víctor Miguel Corro ([email protected])

        Inclusiv and Juntos Avanzamos: Pablo Defilippi ([email protected])

        PolicyWorks: Erin O’Hern ([email protected])

        Accion U.S.: Elise Burton ([email protected])

        Grameen America: Rajitha Swaminathan ([email protected])

          Who are the Partnering Organizations?

          ITIN Lending Partners:

          Juntos Avanzamos is a designation for credit unions committed to serving and empowering Hispanic consumers. Immigrants are a large and vibrant part of the US economy and a key audience in the low- and moderate-income communities that CDCUs serve. To qualify for the program, a credit union must accept alternative forms of identification for account opening and offer, or plan to offer, ITIN Lending. In addition, the credit union must offer bilingual services and information and collaborate with community organizations that support Hispanics. While the designation promotes outreach to the Hispanic market, credit unions should be prepared to serve all immigrant members. Juntos Avanzamos is an initiative of Inclusiv, whose mission is to help low-and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. Learn more at:

          Inclusiv's mission is to help low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. Inclusiv is dedicated to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. Inclusiv is a certified CDFI intermediary that transforms local progress into lasting national change. They provide capital, make connections, build capacity, develop innovative products and services and advocate for member community development credit unions (CDCUs). Inclusiv members serve over eight million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US and hold over $92 billion in community-controlled assets. Learn more at:

          Coopera means “cooperate” in Spanish. Coopera’s goal is to enable financial organizations to do well by doing good through “double bottom line” solutions. Coopera helps institutions grow by reaching and serving the largest, fastest-growing, youngest and most underserved market in the U.S. – Hispanics. Coopera's work increases membership, grows revenue and boosts loan volume by providing culturally relevant financial products and services designed specifically for the needs of Hispanic consumers. Coopera is the only emerging-markets company in the credit union industry with an exclusive focus on the Hispanic member. Learn more at:

          PolicyWorks is a national leader in credit union compliance solutions serving more than 1,200 credit unions across the country. PolicyWorks has the resources, vision and experience necessary to help clients resolve their most challenging compliance issues. PolicyWorks is owned by Affiliates Management Company, the California and Nevada Credit Union League, and the Ohio Credit Union League. Learn more at:

          Small-Business Lending Partners:

          Accion creates economic opportunity by partnering with small business owners to provide access to capital and the business support they need to create and grow healthy enterprises, while contributing to thriving local economies. They are a nationwide network of mission-based lenders combining deep local knowledge with cutting-edge lending solutions and unmatched personalized advising to fuel growth in underserved communities across the U.S. Accion's work is directed through the efforts of four, independent, regional community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and a national office that invests in innovation, technology and information sharing for the benefit of the entire network. Globally, for more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries. Learn more at:

          Grameen America is dedicated to helping entrepreneurial women who live in poverty build businesses to enable financial mobility. Founded in Queens, NY, in 2008, Grameen America builds on the legacy and proven model of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. His revolutionary but simple idea that all people can lift themselves out of poverty through their own entrepreneurial spirit has dramatically altered how the world views global poverty. Grameen America provides microloans, financial training, and support to members. Learn more at:

          Resources from Filene and our partners.

          Reaching Minority Household Incubator Research Report

          In 2016, Filene, Visa, and the Ford Foundation worked together in launching the Reaching Minority Households Incubator to learn more about the role traditional financial institutions could play in improving the financial well-being of minority households. Filene identified and tested five financial products over an 18-month period that were perceived to fill a gap in the credit needs of minority households. The final results included 40 credit unions that tested the five products and generated 58,482 loans totaling $84.8 million for consumers.

          ITIN Lending Implementation Guide

          Following the release of the Reaching Minority Households Incubator report, Filene collaborated with Inclusiv, Coopera and PolicyWorks to develop an ITIN Lending Implementation Guide for financial institutions to rapidly scale the ITIN Lending program to reach as many communities as possible.

          ITIN Impact Stories

          Filene followed the impact of three ITIN loans given to credit union members in Seattle, WA, Wakota, MN and Chicago, IL. Not only did these stories track the success of these individuals in obtaining a home, refinancing a car and starting a business, but it also shined light on the innovation-minded credit unions looking to grow their memberships and support their communities.

          Filene Fill-In Ep. 44: "Is your credit union ready to welcome me?" with Dreamer Kenia Calderon

          Filene was joined by Kenia Calderon in their podcast studio to hear her story as one of the millions of ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) holders in America and her experience as a Dreamer getting a loan through a credit union for her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA application. Her story is moving in many ways, but what we found most compelling is how enormous the ripple effect can be on an entire community starting with one credit union providing one small loan to one person.