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ABQ Co-Op Capital Program Recognized

Albuquerque’s Co-Op Capital strategy from the Living Cities Integration Initiative recognized.

October 14, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE - Yesterday, Nusenda Credit Union was recognized by BAI-Infosys Finacle at the 2015 Global Innovation Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada for its innovative programs that benefit Albuquerque’s community. One of the programs that was instrumental in their recognition is Albuquerque’s Co-Op Capital strategy from the Living Cities Integration Initiative. Administered by Nusenda Credit Union, the Co-op Capital is a unique program that provides entrepreneurs access to capital for their business or idea.

Through the efforts of many community partners including the City of Albuquerque, Nusenda Credit Union, and the University of New Mexico, the Innovation in Societal and Community Impact award the exemplifies what can happen when city leaders come together to collectively tackle issues. 

“Albuquerque is collectively working on solutions to challenges in our City, and I am confident that this program has the ability to change the landscape for entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry, member of the Steering Table for the Living Cities Integration Initiative. “Innovative products like Co-Op Capital will help Albuquerque to continue to move towards a culture of entrepreneurism that will spur job growth.”

The unique Co-Op Capital program provides access to capital for low-income entrepreneurs that do not have access to business lending through traditional means.   It is considered an alternative to the alternative, where those without collateral or credit often are unable to secure capital.  This program builds on the trusted relationships within these groups to collateralize funding for a program that provides benefit to all involved.  

“This award brings well-deserved national recognition to a locally-developed strategy that will grow our economy through entrepreneurship, a key goal of our Living Cities efforts,” said University of New Mexico President Robert G. Frank, member of the Steering Table for the Living Cities Integration Initiative.   “Congratulations to Nusenda Credit Union for this award and acting as a leader in embracing innovation.”

The Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative was launched in Albuquerque in 2014.  The Integration Initiative spent one year in planning bringing leaders from across all industries together to create strategies designed to build a culture of entrepreneurism in Albuquerque that will create jobs and grow household income.   The Integration Initiative is now developing pilot projects based on the strategies created to submit for potential funding from Living Cities. 

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Living Cities is a national effort that harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged people and improving the cities where they live.  Living Cities expanded its signature effort aimed at revitalizing U.S. cities, The Integration Initiative, with a second round of sites.  Round 2 sites (Albuquerque, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Francisco and Seattle) joined Round 1 sites (Baltimore, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark) in a multi-year effort to realize the long system change goals each has established.