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Our Story

Our Story

We believe that credit unions can be at the forefront to fight poverty and financial exclusion. Credit union staff and volunteers across the world undertake training to ensure that their credit union is sustainable for the next generation of members. Through our vast knowledge of credit unions and through the help of our volunteers, we  help communities in developing countries to build sustainable credit unions through training initiatives.

Our History

In the 1960’s, the Irish credit union movement expanded rapidly throughout the island of Ireland and during this time credit unions played an important role within their communities to provide savings and loans facilities for people who needed financial services. The need for credit unions in Ireland was evident and they greatly improved the standards of living and contributed to the development of the local economy. The movement gained further success as it matured and credit unions had gathered a great deal of knowledge that they wanted to share with other emerging movements. Irish credit unions joined forces in 1980 and pooled their resources together to establish the Irish League of Credit Unions International Development Foundation Ltd. (ILCU Foundation) which would allow them provide support for fledgling movements. In 1989, the ILCU Foundation was formally registered and received its charitable status.

Our Mission

We believe that credit unions can empower individuals and communities in the developing world to fight poverty and financial exclusion through ethical savings and loans.

Our Values

  1. Being Straight-up
  2. Being a Catalyst For Positive Change.
  3. Being Adaptive To Changing Realities.
  4. Being Trusted Experts In Our Field.
  5. Being There For The Next Generation.
  6. Being Respectful Of Local Communities. 

What Makes Us Different?


The focus is on strengthening credit union movements in developing countries, thereby helping people to help themselves.

Ownership and Funding

The ILCU Foundation is owned and largely funded by contributions from credit unions throughout the island of Ireland.


The expertise of the Irish credit union movement is leveraged to provide targeted, requested technical assistance.

Long-term Support

The ILCU Foundation is committed to providing long-term support thereby supporting sustainable, positive changes in its countries of operation.