Monday, 21 June 2021 20:30

PROFILE: HOW TO IMPROVE THE WELL-BEING OF SASKATCHEWAN’S PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES

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The Regina head office of Conexus Credit Union. This project was part of its partnership with the University of Regina in helping to restore the College Avenue Campus. The building is also home to Cultivator, Conexus’ business incubator. The Regina head office of Conexus Credit Union. This project was part of its partnership with the University of Regina in helping to restore the College Avenue Campus. The building is also home to Cultivator, Conexus’ business incubator.

Saskatchewan is home to more than 850 co-operatives and credit unions operating in 24 sectors of the economy. Here is the second spotlight on one of our province’s diverse, community-focused co-op businesses.

 

In 2020, Conexus Credit Union launched the Conexus Kindness Capital Fund (CKCF), one of many projects Conexus has undertaken to help improve the well-being of its members and communities.

Click on the image above to discover the unusual story of how CKCF was funded. It illustrates one of the defining principles behind this 80+-year old financial co-operative.

RECOGNIZE AND REWARD

As COVID-19 spread across the province, Conexus Credit Union saw individuals and businesses stepping up and displaying acts of kindness in extraordinary ways.

To recognize and reward these good deeds, Conexus asked people across Saskatchewan to nominate individuals and businesses who were responding to COVID-19 with kindness. Conexus received over 200 nominations and awarded 42 recipients with $5,000 each through the fund. Recipients came from communities throughout the province and did not have to be members of the credit union.

UNEXPECTED REVENUE LEADS TO...

Conexus used the administration revenue as a provider of CEBA, the Canada Emergency Business Account (a federal pandemic-relief loan program that provided interest-free loans to small businesses) to fund CKCF. While other financial institutions might have taken those CEBA fees as much-needed income during these turbulent times, Conexus leveraged the unexpected revenue, added its own resources and launched CKCF.

The goal, says Conexus CEO, Eric Dillon, was to re-invest in something that was improving the well-being of Saskatchewan’s people and communities. 

FINANCIAL HEALTH ⇒ WELL-BEING

“Well-being” is a term that’s used often at Conexus and is in fact part of the credit union’s purpose statement. The credit union invests heavily in people and technology to ensure its members have access to the products and services that best meet their needs - an essential component of financial well-being.

Conexus advisors are incented on the overall financial health of their members, not on the number of products sold as is typical in banking.

The financial well-being of its members is so significant to Conexus that it is one of the metrics Conexus uses to measure its annual performance. Helping measure its members financial well-being, Conexus developed a proprietary Financial Health indicator tool that looks at nine specific drivers that lead to improved financial well-being. The credit union is also in the process of building a digital tool that allows its members to monitor their own financial health in real-time. 

INVESTING IN - AND SCALING UP - SASKATCHEWAN BUSINESSES

  1. Conexus is committed to strengthening communities through entrepreneurship and growth in businesses. In 2019, it launched Cultivator, Canada’s first credit union-led business incubator, providing space, programming, mentorship, and more to help Saskatchewan start, grow and scale their companies.

  2. To date, Cultivator has incubated over 50 companies which in turn have created over 170 jobs, raised over $17.8 million in public funding and $13.4 million in private capital, and generated over $8.4 million in revenue.

  3. Conexus Venture Capital (CVC) Inc., also launched in 2019, extending Conexus’ efforts in helping Saskatchewan startups. Its CVC Fund #1 invests capital into Saskatchewan tech startups to help them grow, and remain in the province.

    By investing in these companies through Cultivator and CVC Inc., Conexus is supporting economic growth and build a more sustainable province. 

MEMBER-CENTRIC FINANCIAL CO-OPERATIVE

Being a part of and supporting the community is an integral piece of who Conexus is. CVC Inc. Cultivator and CKCF are just a few examples of what Conexus is doing to help improve the well-being of its members and communities.

And its commitment to the financial well-being of its members shows that it can continue to be profitable, relevant and member-centric while embracing its financial co-operative foundation.

Visit their website to learn more.

 

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Last modified on Friday, 09 July 2021 20:25