Social investor and international co-operative Oikocredit ended the year 2014 with solid results, increased funding by 28% (€17.1m).
Netherlands-based Oikocredit invests its members’ funds across Africa, Asia and Latin America, in line with its social mission. It was set up in 1968 at the World Council of Churches meeting to promote social justice by providing credit to productive enterprises run by disadvantaged people.
Oikocredit has invested in 1,670 partner organisations and distributed over €2.1bn in development financing. The co-op places a strong emphasis on inclusive finance, agriculture and renewable energy. Investors will will benefit from the net result with a proposed dividend of €13.2m.
Last year saw the co-operative grow its development-financing portfolio to €734.6m, up 24% from 2013. Oikocredit works with 805 partner organisations across 63 countries. In 2014, it carried out over 189 capacity building engagements, worth €1.9m. Loan approvals also reached record levels of €383.8m, up 29% from 2013. Disbursements rose 10% to €337.9m.
Managing director David Woods said: “In 2014 we were well positioned to diversify into new sectors as well as strengthen our operations, which in turn lowered our risk profile. Our investments in agriculture, particularly in Africa, and renewable energy generated immediate results. To provide our partner organisations with resources to responsibly grow their businesses, we also took a ‘plus’ approach to development financing.”
He added that Oikocredit would continue to focus on social performance, with a focus on impact studies to assess the long-term benefits of social financing, while staying true to its social mission.
“The sustainable development landscape will continue to grow and change, and we will change with it,” he said. “In the next five years we see ourselves as being the most socially responsible impact investor in the world, with a true mix of social, environmental and financial goals.”