Oikocredit has been active for over 40 years as an international co-operative and leading world-wide social impact investor. The name comes from the Greek for community and home, and the dual Latin meanings of credit: loan and belief.
Who We Are
Established in 1975 by members of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and headquartered in the Netherlands, Oikocredit’s investment mission and Articles of Association are built around a true triple bottom line return – in other words, generating a balanced financial, social and environmental return on your investment.
We are guided by the principle of empowering people, believing that the most effective and sustainable means of assisting the most disadvantaged groups in the world is by providing them with an opportunity to create their own sustainable future through the instrument of investment.
Our organisation, people and culture
At the heart of Oikocredit are the people and networks who are key to our success in numerous countries around the globe. This includes around 250 full-time staff working in local markets and at Oikocredit International, Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Our staff are supported by large numbers of dedicated professionals, volunteer networks, investors, social enterprise partners, member-shareholders and other affiliates.
The international activities of Oikocredit are governed by a two-tier board:
- A 10-member Supervisory Board oversees the co-operative. Members are elected to hold office for three years and are eligible for re-election for one term.
- Our 6-member Managing Board is based at Oikocredit International in Amersfoort, the Netherlands and oversees day-to-day operations. The Managing Board includes the Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer, Risk Director, Investment Director, Operations Director and Investor Relations, Social Performance & Capacity Building Director.
Our capital-raising network
Oikocredit raises most of its development financing by issuing shares in the Oikocredit co-operative to its institutional shareholder-members. Members of the co-operative primarily include the Oikocredit International Share Foundation*, Support Associations, churches and faith-based institutions.
*The Oikocredit International Share Foundation (OISF) was established on the 10th March 1995 in the Netherlands. It is a distinct legal entity and capital-raising instrument falling under the umbrella of the Oikocredit co-operative. The main purpose of the OISF is to provide an investment opportunity for the wider public across Europe and North America where depository receipts are issued to non-member individual and institutional investors. These depository receipts have historically paid gross annual dividends* but, unlike shares, do not come with voting rights to safeguard an acceptable blend of financial, social and environmental returns.
*Taken from Annual Reports & Accounts. Your capital is at risk.
The partner enterprises in whom we invest
Oikocredit use your investment capital (topped up by separate capacity-building donation funds) to provide loans, equity and technical skills to around 800 revenue-generating, mid-stage social enterprises with a proven track record for sound governance and positive financial, social and environmental outcomes.
We remain actively involved with these social enterprise partners throughout the life of each investment, focusing on risk, environmental-social-governance (ESG), financial and other indicators via our extensive network of local offices in low-income and developing countries.