UK and Ireland News
A partnership raising investment to target poverty & the UN Sustainable Development Goals
London, United Kingdom, 5th April 2017 – Oikocredit, a world-wide cooperative and leading impact investor, announced today that its United Kingdom and Ireland office raised c. €2m in 2016 with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank. Oikocredit also recently published its international financial results for 2016, revealing a development financing portfolio of €1,047.2 million, up 16% on 2015.
There are estimated to be around 700 million people living in extreme poverty worldwide. One in four lives in rural areas, and 2.7 billion still lack access to the basic financial services they need to grow their own ventures and build their own paths out of poverty. In September 2015, the United Nations launched the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a vision to end poverty, ensure prosperity and protect the planet by 2030. There are 17 SDGs and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network estimates that it will cost around $1.4 trillion (£920 billion) each year to meet these development goals.
Oikocredit provides financial services and capacity building support to social enterprise partners that reach financially-excluded communities in around 70 low-income and developing countries, following a triple-bottom line investing approach (people, profit and planet). Aligned with 16 of the 17 Goals, Oikocredit provides debt and equity investments to over 800 microfinance institutions and SMEs in agriculture, renewable energy and blended infrastructure sectors. With a positive track record spanning 42 years, €1.2 billion under management, and partnerships with organisations such as Divine Chocolate and Cafédirect, Oikocredit helps provide 46 million people with vital finance and technical support. In addition, 86% of those reached are female, and 51% are from rural communities.
Investment for individuals and organisations is by way of depository receipts in the Oikocredit International Share Foundation, which have historically paid an annual dividend. Over 80% of investors’ capital reaches the field within three months, with a further 15% held statutorily on reserve to provide liquidity. More philanthropic investors can choose to donate their dividend to Oikocredit’s capacity-building fund which helps further de-risk the underlying investment by enhancing the technical skills of partners and their end beneficiaries. Oikocredit calls this model “FinancePLUS”, and consistently demonstrates how investors’ capital can target the SDGs while generating a financial return.
Monica Middleton, National Director of Oikocredit’s UK & Ireland office, said: “Governments alone cannot deliver the SDGs, so collaboration in the impact investing space is critical if we want to meet these goals 13 short years from now. We see ClearlySo as being one of the leading lights in impact investing, matchmaking institutional and individual investors with investment opportunities that target some of the biggest challenges we face.“
Further commenting, ClearlySo Investment Manager Jon Wright said: “Oikocredit’s innovative investment solution overcomes many of the barriers associated with impact investment including track record, liquidity, impact reporting and access to large ticket investments in a diversified portfolio.”
Notes to the Editors
Established in 1975, Oikocredit invest in more than 800 social enterprise partners across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe. They prioritise inclusive finance, agriculture, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors to reach the most disadvantaged communities in the world. Their activities support 16 of the 17 sustainable development goals and they issue Annual Social Performance Reports on social and environmental outcomes alongside their Annual Reports & Accounts.
For the year ending 2016:
* Total assets up 18% to € 1,209.3 million
* Development financing portfolio up 16% to € 1,047.2 million
* Financing in Africa up 19%, totalling € 188.7 million
* 45 capacity building engagements totalling € 490,000
* Net inflow of lendable funds € 94.3 million
* Net consolidated result of € 29.0 million
Proposed 2% dividend
ClearlySo is Europe’s leading impact investment bank, working exclusively with businesses and funds delivering positive social, ethical, and/or environmental impact as well as financial return.
Originally founded in 2008, ClearlySo has helped more than 100 clients raise more than £115 million in impact investment from its extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors.
In addition, ClearlySo ATLAS helps investors assess the social and environmental impact of their venture capital and private equity investments and guides them towards choosing sustainable businesses that deliver long term benefit to people, planet and the bottom line.
ClearlySo is headquartered in London.
Oikocredit UK Office
T: +44 (0) 330 355 33 00
ClearlySo Chief Marketing Officer
T: 0207 490 9520