Oikocredit: Access to Credit Empowers 28 Million Borrowers

  • Oikocredit Presents Social Performance Report 2010

DAR ES SALAAM,Tanzania, June 16, 2011 /CNW/ - The social results of microfinance should be as fundamental to the sector's growth as financial results. Today, Oikocredit releases its Social Performance Report at the Annual General Meeting in Tanzania. This report shows positive change in the lives of borrowers, particulary women in rural areas, in line with Oikocredit's vision to responsibly reach more people with fair finance.

Last year saw Oikocredit reach more than 28 million people through its microfinance partners, with over 1.2 million individuals directly benefiting from Oikocredit funding. An impressive 86% of those who accessed financial services through Oikocredit partners are women. The small and medium-sized enterprises that receive Oikocredit funding provide 61,000 people with permanent jobs.

"Our financial services are tightly bound with our social objectives.To achieve social goals, it is essential that we measure who we reach and how financial support translates into their lives," said Oikocredit director Social Performance & Financial Analysis Ben Simmes. "Initial results from client surveys in Peru, Ecuador and the Philippines facilitated by Oikocredit measured positive change in the lives of borrowers over a number of years. We are rolling out similar studies in other countries."

Oikocredit's total development financing portfolio amounted to € 481 million with € 388 invested in microfinance and € 93 million in social enterprises. Oikocredit partners include over 230 cooperatives and almost 50 fair trade organizations.

Supporting smaller, start-up microfinance institutions (MFIs) that have potential to reach the poor - particularly those in rural areas - is an important Oikocredit strategy that widens access to finance. Results from 2010 show 90% of new loans in 2010 were issued to so called second and third segment MFIs, emerging MFIs with small to medium portfolios.

Oikocredit carefully selects its partners based on their mission, outreach and operations. The environmental, social and governance (ESG) scorecard that Oikocredit developed to identify our partners' governance structure and their social and environmental commitment enables a very detailed and careful selection of our partners. All new loan contracts to microfinance partners include adherence to the Client Protection Principles which ensures they provide transparent prices for services and responsible finance. Externally, international microfinance rating agency M-CRIL highly commended Oikocredit on its social orientation, next to its sound financial performance.

This year, over 90% of Oikocredit microfinance partners reported social data, signaling the increased priority of reporting on social performance. Oikocredit is proud to be at the forefront of social performance management and will carry on its social mission of the past 35 years with dedication and tenacity focusing on the difference fair finance makes in the lives of the poor.

Visit http://www.oikocredit.org/socialperformance to read the full Social Performance Report 2010 and for more information on social performance and Oikocredit.

Oikocredit

Oikocredit is a social investor and worldwide cooperative that promotes global justice by empowering disadvantaged people with credit. Since 1975, Oikocredit has offered loans and investment capital to microfinance institutions, cooperatives, fair trade and other businesses. Today, Oikocredit has 863 project partners in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.oikocredit.org.

SOURCE Oikocredit

For further information:

Press contact Oikocredit International: Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, kziedsesdesplantes@oikocredit.org, +31(0)6-272-549-04. Press contact Oikocredit USA: Terry Provance, usa@oikocredit.org, +1-202-728-41-40. Press contact Oikocredit UK & Ireland: Patrick Hynes, uk@oikocredit.org, +44(0)1995-602806.

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