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Oikocredit is a worldwide cooperative and social investor, which provides micro credit to fair trade organizations, cooperatives and small and medium enterprises in developing countries. The organization has become one of the largest financiers of the micro finance sector.


Oikocredit offers enterprising people the chance to build a better life for themselves by offering them small loans at very low interest rates. Not the profit but the people count. According to Oikocredit providing small loans is the most effective way to help people to help themselves.


Oikocredit is set up as a private cooperative association with a network of support groups around the world. The idea for Oikocredit was created during a meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1968. Some church members felt it was time for an ethical investment fund that would encourage peace and justice. In 1975 this led to the creation of Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society. From that moment on churches and related organizations had the opportunity to invest their money in a just and fair way. Today not only religious organizations are funding the work of Oikocredit. 


When providing credit Oikocredit does not look at religion, personal beliefs, age or sex. However, the majority of their customers are women and that has to do with the fact that in many countries the greatest poverty is amongst women that often carry full responsibility for their families or relatives.


Oikocredit also provides advice and practical training which enables partners to build capacity. Local experts deliver specialized services, which range from improving information management systems to developing new products or providing practical training in health or business operations.


Oikocredit currently has an outstanding capital of 591 million Euros and 779 million Euros in assets (2014). The cooperative is currently funding 815 different projects in nearly 70 countries. On their website you can see many examples of the projects they support.


Over the past 10 years, investors earned a return on investment of 1.55%. With their contribution, investors promote self-reliance in communities that are among the poorest in the world.


The organization currently consists of 52,000 investors and has a network of volunteers and staff who are engaged in attracting investment. Oikocredit has offices in Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, the U.S., the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.


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Type of initiative Action/campaign organization, Information/network organization, Other (specify): Cooperative
Field of work Agriculture, Manufacturing, Trade, Financial services
Date of commencement 1975
Founder(s) World Council of Churches
Legal form Cooperative
Continent Europe
Country Netherlands
City Amersfoort
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Micro credit
Publications Annual reports, social performance reports, newsletters
More information

Contact person(s)

Ylse van der Schoot


Contact information

Name Oikocredit
Address Berkenweg 7
Zip/postal code 3818 LA
Place Amersfoort
State/province Utrecht
Country Netherlands
Phone +31 (0)33 422 40 40



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