On September 4, the new COOP ECLOF was officially launched in Santo Domingo in a ceremony attended by Kimanthi Mutua, Chairman of ECLOF International, Julio Mariñez, President of the Institute of Development and Cooperative Credit (IDECOOP), members of different associations of cooperatives of the country, journalists, business people and others.

The cooperative model was established in Germany in the 19th century with the aim of reducing poverty and indebtedness among small-scale farmers and craftsmen. It was based on the values of self-help, democracy and solidarity. Bearing these values in mind, the stakeholders of ECLOF Dominican Republic, among them ECLOF International and the local ECLOF NGO, have decided to transform the ECLOF NGO into a cooperative savings and credit society. This new setup allows ECLOF Dominicana’s more than 19,000 clients to become shareholders of their own financial institution and deposit savings with it. Ultimately more capital and more members will lead to far wider outreach of ECLOF to low-income clients in the Dominican Republic.

Under a new branding, the cooperative delivers innovative microfinance and non-financial services such as loans for micro business, agriculture, housing improvement, education or personal needs as well as payment services and related business and financial education.

COOP ECLOF’s mission, however, remains the same as that of ECLOF NGO: to contribute to the development of the low-income and vulnerable population through financial services, training and assistance.