Oikocredit: € 1 billion cumulative investments with social impact

In 2009, a year when financial institutions encountered difficult market conditions, Oikocredit – one of the world’s largest private financiers of the microfinance sector – achieved record high inflows. Oikocredit’s capital inflow reached € 62.9 million and its total assets grew with 13% to a total of € 537 million at year end. Oikocredit’s board of directors will propose to its members to continue paying out 2% dividend to its investors.

Tor G. Gull, Managing Director of Oikocredit: “Another landmark was reaching € 1 billion in cumulative committed loans and investments since Oikocredit began its operations in 1975. I am proud that despite the economic downturn still large numbers of individuals and institutions invested in Oikocredit’s mission to empower poor people.”

Social return on investmentsOikocredit is committed to ensuring social return on investments. Measuring and tracking the real-life impact of microfinance is essential to this. For that reason, Oikocredit has been working side-by-side with two other knowledge experts, the French organization CERISE and the Grameen Foundation based in the United States. A social performance management tool to identify how microfinance institutions (MFIs) can improve their social performance was applied to over 50 microfinance institutions by Oikocredit’s offices in the Caribbean, Central and South America. In Asia, staff at Oikocredit’s Phillipine and Cambodian offices was trained in the implementation of tools developed to assess and measure the ‘poverty level’ of MFI clients and the extent to which poverty is reduced over time. In addition, Oikocredit itself underwent a social audit, the first microfinance investor to do so.

The purpose of net resultsOikocredit’s net result in 2009 amounted to € 19.3 million (in 2008: € 11.4 million), of which € 7.4 million is proposed to be paid as dividend to the members. Oikocredit uses this net result for the benefit of its social mission. It pays a modest dividend to its members, who put their financial interests after the social benefit that their money can have. Despite the recession, still large numbers of individuals and institutions invested in Oikocredit’s mission to empower poor people. The close-knit network of regional offices and experts enables Oikocredit to work with partners that provide loans to people in the poorest areas, where both the risks and social returns can be high. Oikocredit’s aim is to also work in regions often avoided by other financial institutions.

Oikocredit: private capital for developmentOikocredit is a cooperative financial institution that offers loans or investment capital to 790 microfinance institutions, cooperatives and small and medium sized enterprises in over 70 countries. At this moment the project partners that Oikocredit financially supports reach out to a total of 17.5 million people. Oikocredit is privately financed by individuals, organisations and churches.

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