Strong Social and Sustainable Results for Impact Investor, Oikocredit

AMERSFOORT, the Netherlands, June 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Social investor and worldwide cooperative, Oikocredit, today released its social performance results for 2014. The results reflect data reported by 591 of Oikocredit's partner organizations.

Result highlights include: 

  • Investments in low-income countries up 16% to € 109 million
  • Borrowers reached through microfinance partners up 32% to 37 million
  • Women borrowers reached through microfinance up from 81% to 86%
  • 41% of all production and services partners classified as 'green'

At 31 December 2014, Oikocredit's development financing portfolio stood at € 735 million, with € 614 million invested in microfinance and the remainder in ethical enterprises including fair trade organizations, cooperatives, agricultural enterprises and renewable energy.

With 2014 another solid year of impact investing, Oikocredit's investments in low-income countries (GNI per capita ≤ US$1,035) grew from € 94 million in 2013 to € 109 million, with majority of the outstanding portfolio in Africa.

Through Oikocredit's microfinance partners, 37 million borrowers were reached in 2014, up from 28 million in 2013. Of those 37 million microfinance borrowers, 86% were women, 50% living in rural areas and 25% active in agriculture.

Of Oikocredit's partners involved in production and services (outside microfinance), 41% hold a 'green' classification. Of those production and services partners, 73% reported having an environmental policy, with 35% having at least one fair trade certification.

Oikocredit social performance and credit analysis director, Ging Ledesma, said the results showed Oikocredit's commitment to social and environmental outcomes. "In 2014, we focussed on growing our outreach in low-income countries, particularly to rural and female borrowers," Ms Ledesma explained. "Over the next two years we'd also like to see over half of all our production and services partners holding a 'green' classification", added Ms Ledesma.

Throughout 2014, Oikocredit provided € 1.9 million in capacity building funds, focussing on the strengthening of its social performance mentoring programme and piloting new programmes for agricultural enterprises.

Outlook  

In 2015, Oikocredit will continue its approach of reaching more clients and monitoring the changes in the lives of people reached.

Ms Ledesma said that in 2015, through capacity building as well as other initiatives, Oikocredit will support partners in their efforts to improve the lives of low income earners and their communities. "This will include improving food security for farmers by nurturing cooperative enterprises and increasing levels of productivity while being mindful of environmental impacts and the effects of climate change," Ms Ledesma added.

Oikocredit is a worldwide cooperative and social investor, providing funding to the microfinance sector, fair trade organizations, cooperatives and small to medium enterprises.

SOURCE Oikocredit International

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