Oikocredit does three simple things. We help people create their own path out of poverty. We do so in a way that leaves a positive impact on the planet. And we deliver a modest financial return back to investors like you. We call it a ‘triple bottom line’.
We invest for people, planet and profit
It means you can feel good about where your money goes; knowing it is having a positive social, environmental and financial impact on the world.
Investing in people
2.7 billion people lack access to basic financial services1 Without credit or savings many people can’t get financial and other support to start businesses or improve their standards of living.
When traditional banks are unwilling or unable to help, poverty, aid-dependency or local loan sharks often move in to fill the gap. We prevent this from happening by offering alternative financial solutions.
Through more than 800 partners in nearly 70 countries we reach out to some of the most disadvantaged and financially-excluded people in the world. Particularly helping people in remote, rural areas and women to create income-generating businesses.
Their hard work and enterprise helps them to build proper homes, put food on the table, send children to school, and pay for medicine and hospital treatment. The cumulative effect can sustain whole communities.
One way we do this is by providing loans, equity and other investments to local social and microfinance partners. In turn, they provide people on low incomes with loans as small as $200, which are affordably paid back over a number of years. Once people finish repaying their loans, the microfinance partner pays back Oikocredit.
Another way we help is to make loans or equity investments in social enterprises, whose own activities help people directly to build their own paths out of poverty.
We finance renewable energy ventures and companies who contribute positively to the agriculture value chain. This includes farmer organisations and agri-processing companies working with smallholder farmers. It also covers small trade organisations wishing to scale up, as well as social enterprises procuring from developing countries, such as UK brands, Divine Chocolate and Cafedirect.
We only invest in companies who share our commitment to people, planet and profit.
Investing in the planet
The people served by our partners are those most vulnerable to climate change, and those most in need of a more environmentally sustainable way to earn a living.
That’s why Oikocredit measures the environmental impact of its investments to ensure they have a positive effect on the planet. It’s also why a significant part of our investment portfolio focuses on sustainable agriculture – particularly fair trade and organic producers who share our concern for the planet. And it’s why we increasingly focus on renewable energy ventures.
Ultimately, our investments in both sustainable agriculture and renewables are designed to help create jobs, reduce footprints, and mitigate the impacts of climate change - particularly for the most vulnerable communities in the world.
Investing for profit
The final aim of Oikocredit is to help people in low-income countries, our social enterprise partners and our investors profit financially and emotionally from our investments.
At the same time as helping millions of people to create their own paths out of poverty through our partnerships, we have delivered a 2% return to our investors each year, every year, since 2000*.
We do this by carefully managing the € 900.2 development finances we currently hold on behalf of 51,000 organisational and individual investors around the world. And we manage our risks by diversifying our investments across a portfolio of more than 800 partner organisations in nearly 70 countries.
As you can see from these key figures, we measure our profit not just in financial terms, but also in terms of the impact we have. Our social and environmental performance are just as important as our financial performance.
1. [Global Findex http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/globalfindex].
* Taken from annual reports and accounts.