Although conserving a low-profile, Oikocredit, a social investment fund managed by non-profit financial cooperatives, has been in Canada for 25 years and exemplifies an experienced microfinance model in the social finance landscape. Oikocredit is an international financial cooperative with members across Canada and regional offices in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, and Victoria.
One of the lessons that we learned from the global financial crisis is that when you expose vulnerable borrowers to unprincipled lenders, the results can be disastrous. That was true of sub-prime borrowers in the US and Europe, and we are now finding it true of the large numbers of vulnerable microfinance borrowers exposed to unscrupulous lenders in the developing world.
On Tuesday, we drove an hour and a half north west of Ziguinchor to the town of Diouloulou, in northern Casamance. This is mango country, but we didn’t see a single mango.