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Blog posts from Oikocredit UK

  1. International Women’s Day and the potency of gender lens impact investing

    8 March 2017 08:30 - by Monica Middleton - 0 comments

    From financial exclusion, to tiny shop, to multiple businesses

    Written by: Blanca Méndez, Oikocredit International

    The Philippines 2017. Teresa Tomaro, “Dungganon” group member of the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation; and Blanca Méndez from Oikocredit International.  Photograph: Nicolas Villaume.

    Caroline Mulwa, Oikocredit Kenya Country Manager, speaking about East African women at the 2016 Africa Impact Investing Leaders Forum,  highlighted that: “88% of Africa’s female population live in rural areas; 70% of agricultural labour is provided by women; 90% of all food is produced by women, but women own less than 2% of the land. Yet women have a significant, measurable, positive impact on small business ventures, local communities and families. And they have been proven to reduce investment risks, which is why Oikocredit lends much of its institutional and individual investors’ capital to social enterprises that support women”.

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  2. Creating sustainable farming communities in the Egyptian desert

    8 March 2017 07:00 - by Archie Pearson, Monica Middleton - 0 comments

     From desert land, to shop, to a jolly good cup of organic, herbal tea

     Chamomile lawn, Egypt. Photography, SEKEM

    Over the decades, much of the previously lush, fertile land surrounding the River Nile has been destroyed by urban expansion or overtaken by desert tundra.  The small canals which feed into the Nile overflow with rubbish and sewage, damaging the local ecosystem and irrigation of small parcels of land used by smallholder farmers.  For local communities who have lived off the land for centuries, this renders the environment unhealthy and the soil useless for generating subsistence crops or a modest income.

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  3. Rain and smallholder farmers: A gift to some, a curse to others

    26 January 2017 19:39 - by Monica Middleton - 0 comments

    The Philippines is the world’s third highest risk area for natural disasters. Frequent typhoons and cyclones bring excessive rain and wind, threatening the livelihoods of around 60% of the poorest groups who tend to live in rural communities and must also contend with rising sea levels, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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  4. The high price tag behind the SDGs and why investors need to get behind them

    13 May 2016 14:39 - by Eugene Ellmen - 0 comments

    Kenyan tea farmer.jpg

    Up to £4.8 trillion will be needed every year to achieve the sustainable development goals on infrastructure, clean energy, water, sanitation and agriculture. Governments alone won’t be able to handle this.

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  5. Do you agree with Angus Deaton?

    20 October 2015 10:29 - by David Woods - 0 comments


    With the announcement of the 2015 Nobel Prizes earlier this month, it was interesting to see the economics prize going to Angus Deaton, a Scottish professor (albeit based in the US) with outspoken views on inequality, foreign aid and poverty measurement — all issues central to Oikocredit’s work and mission.

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  6. Can organic principles be hypocritical?

    1 October 2015 09:20 - by David Woods - 0 comments


    Investors in Oikocredit regularly ask us to do two things: finance organic agriculture and stay away from anything related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While we understand both standpoints, we must balance these requests with our mission to empower the disadvantaged, including in situations where alternatives to GMOs cannot be accessed.

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  7. At the forefront of sustainable development using investors’ capital

    2 July 2015 13:51 - by Monica Middleton - 0 comments


    40 years of existing is reason enough to celebrate. But even more so when one’s birth marked the beginning of a world-wide movement founded on the principles of justice, self-reliance and economic empowerment for all, with a mission to alleviate conditions of poverty by providing credit and resources to the most disadvantaged, financially-excluded, “unbankable” communities in the world.

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  8. 40 years of providing opportunities to develop

    20 March 2015 00:07 - by Monica Middleton - 0 comments


    As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, Oikocredit hosted a dinner on 11 February for the partners and peers attending Biofach, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food. This year Biofach attracted 2,348 exhibitors, representing 76 countries to discuss all things fair trade and organic.

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  9. How our first development loan in 1978 looks today

    19 March 2015 23:56 - by Monica Middleton - 0 comments


    In India, around 300 million of its 1.2 billion inhabitants live below the $1.25 a day poverty line. When Oikocredit began operations 40 years ago, the number was almost the same, with around 320 million people living below the poverty line. In 1978, India’s mortality rate was estimated at 14.2%*. In this context, Oikocredit granted its first ever loan in India to finance housing loans for low-income earners in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu.

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  10. It’s the context that matters

    12 February 2015 11:30 - by Valeer Damen - 0 comments

    What beats people-watching? People-watching-people-watching-people. 

    Having a layover at Dubai Airport en route to India for my first time means I get to see humanity in all its diversity in an exciting new place. However, as soon as I start expecting to be surprised, I realise you would see exactly the same on any Saturday in Amsterdam:  women in full traditional dress, hand in hand with husbands; men in faded T-shirts; women in leggings and halter neck tops, and men with traditional head-dress and ankle-length robes.  As I stand around and watch for a little while, I notice all of us watching one another. And, occasionally I catch the smiles, particularly at one another’s children…because everyone seems to smile where children are concerned.

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