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Pentecostal Credit Union Keeping Cash in the Community and Helping Businesses Thrive

Pentecostal Credit Union (PCU) is keeping cash in the community and helping businesses thrive, according to its member base.


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Friday 26 January 2024

Pentecostal Credit Union (PCU) is keeping cash in the community and helping businesses thrive, according to its member base.

Mark McIver, owner of barbershop business, ‘Slider Cuts’, says the backing he received from PCU was crucial to helping his business get off the ground.

“When I started my business, I was struggling to find funding and get loans from places because they felt I had maxed out on my credit” Mark recalls.  “PCU looked at me, looked at my situation. They had a conversation with me instead of what the mainstream banks did when I approached them, which was to rely on a computer to make a decision and then ultimately say no.”

Founded in 1980 by Reverend Carmel Jones, a Minister in the Church of God in Christ, Rev Jones wanted to help black people, in particular members of the Windrush Generation, to bypass discrimination they faced from mainstream financial institutions when trying to obtain funding for projects such as launching business’ or building new churches.

Today the PCU has assets of £13m and is part of a growing sector and CEO of PCU, Shane Bowes says supporting aspiring business owners is vital to the long-term economic welfare of the community.

“Anywhere you go in the world you’ll see a community like a Little China or a Little India for example,” he says.

“And within those communities you’ll see a bedrock of entrepreneurship. You’ll see shops, you’ll see businesses, you’ll see a hotbed of activity. That community is being driven and financed by its entrepreneurial spirit. So, we believe that in order to drive forward the economic empowerment of our community, entrepreneurship is really important.”

The view that organisations like PCU –  reflect this theology is one that author and entrepreneur Jemma Regis rejects.

Regis is the founder of Jemz Cake Box as well as two other businesses and, like McIver,  worked with the credit union to successfully launch her companies.

“When my mum died in 1987, they were instrumental in my dad just holding on to the property our Family had” she recalls. “When he couldn’t get support from anywhere else, they were there.

“They’re not driving around in massive jeeps or living in six-bedroom houses. They are very much community focused. They want to support the community and they have the heart to help people who really can’t get that support from elsewhere.”

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