Regional Support Associations

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Why Support Associations?

Oikocredit Canada’s Support Associations are groups of volunteers whose members are engaged in promoting Oikocredit’s mission. Volunteer associations are part of a long-standing tradition in Oikocredit’s work. In addition to being active volunteers for Oikocredit, Support Associations are members of the Oikocredit International co-operative.

Oikocredit has two Support Associations in Canada – Oikocredit Canada and Oikocredit Canada Atlantic. Click on the regions to learn more about how you can get involved in your local Support Association.

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News

Oikocredit invests in Brazilian FinTech Avante to support one million micro-entrepreneurs by 2021

Avante photo.pngSeptember 06 | 2018 Oikocredit welcomes Avante, a Brazilian FinTech that empowers micro-entrepreneurs through financial technology, to its growing FinTech portfolio. full story

Oikocredit’s first off-grid solar project in Latin America to support 250,000 people

Kingo27 (1).jpgSeptember 05 | 2018 Together with Dutch development bank FMO, Oikocredit invested in Kingo, an off-grid energy supplier, to help them expand to rural areas in Guatemala. full story

Equity investment to improve lives in El Salvador

ENL-SV-17.jpgAugust 29 | 2018 “Quitting my job at the factory was a good decision. We make a profit of US$ 300 a week…when I worked in the factory I earned US$ 60 a week.” full story

Rising to the coffee challenge: high yields, high quality and environmental sustainability

Wilson Olivera, President of Cenfrocafe (left), and Ronny García, Cenfrocafe CEO (right).August 22 | 2018 “It’s not easy to grow in a sustainable way”, says Wilson Olivera, President of Peruvian coffee cooperative Central Fronteriza del Norte de Cafetaleros (Cenfrocafe). full story

The Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance releases ‘State of the Sector’ report

CSAF2018-cover.jpgAugust 08 | 2018 Oikocredit is a member of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), which just published its annual ‘State of the Sector’ report. full story

Oikocredit article on home solar and microfinance published on NextBillion

REblog.JPGJuly 26 | 2018 NextBillion published Oikocredit’s Renewable Energy Investment Officer, Mark Roesink’s article ‘Home Solar+Microfinance: Mitigating Risks and Maximising Rewards.’ full story

Changes in store for Oikocredit's Canadian operations

Eugene headshot in office sept 2016.JPGJuly 20 | 2018 Eugene Ellmen, National Director for Canada & US, explains changes about to be made to Oikocredit's activities in Canada. full story

Going above and beyond: Oikocredit’s Social and Environmental Performance Report [Interview]

Ging Ledesma, Oikocredit’s Investor Relations and Social Performance DirectorJuly 17 | 2018 Oikocredit just published its latest Social and Environmental Performance Report (SEPR) showing that the worldwide cooperative surpasses the sector average for outreach to female clients. To learn more about this and other highlights in the report, and to gain a better understanding of why Oikocredit reports on its social and environmental performance, we spoke with Ging Ledesma, Oikocredit’s Investor Relations and Social Performance Director. full story

Oikocredit surpasses sector average for outreach to female microfinance clients

MIEL-MX-30.jpgJuly 12 | 2018 Today Oikocredit published its latest Social and Environmental Performance Report (SEPR) which shows that nearly 90% of clients reached by the microfinance organisations Oikocredit invests in are women, compared to the sector average of 70%. full story

Oikocredit annual general meeting takes place in India

electronic voting AGM 2018June 22 | 2018 Last week, Oikocredit’s annual general meeting took place in Chennai, India. full story

Oikocredit signs new guidelines on responsible digital financial inclusion

Bart-van-Eyk-web.jpgJune 20 | 2018 Oikocredit joined over 50 fintech investors and innovators to develop guidelines aimed at spreading the benefits of the digital financial services revolution more widely. full story

Join us in cities across Europe for a taste of Fapecafes fair trade coffee

FAPE-EC-30.jpgJune 11 | 2018 Oikocredit’s annual European road show kicks off 18 June in Berlin and will travel to various cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. full story

Getting together for sustainable coffee in June

COOT-CR-78.jpgJune 06 | 2018 Anyone for sustainably sourced coffee? You can get a taste of Oikocredit’s collaborative efforts in the sustainable coffee sector by following our coffee-themed updates which we will share with you throughout June. full story

Thos Gieskes: why we’ve updated our strategy and how we’re aiming for more impact [interview]

Thos Gieskes.jpgMay 24 | 2018 Last month we announced our financial results and introduced Oikocredit’s updated strategy. Our Managing Director Thos Gieskes shares more details on what’s different about the new approach, why focus is so important, and how social impact remains at Oikocredit’s heart. full story

A cool head and a warm heart: how to produce organic and fair trade honey [partner story]

MIEL-MX-23.jpgMay 11 | 2018 There's lots that we can learn from bees: alternative ways of working, serving the community and sharing. We talked to Luis Enrique Castañón Chavarría, Managing Director of Oikocredit’s fair trade and organic partner Miel Mexicana, about how bees cooperate, the beekeeping industry and its international customers. full story

Oikocredit invests € 1 million in renewable energy company Inyenyeri

Inyenyeri photo 3.jpgMay 02 | 2018 Today Oikocredit and Inyenyeri announced the € 1 million loan investment at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, Portugal. full story

E-Hands: solar energy for India’s unbanked  

Solar for rural bank - Bamraha,  Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.jpgApril 26 | 2018 In India, some 270 million people, a fifth of the population, lack access to electricity1. Some 90% of the country’s off-grid communities are based in remote, rural areas, with many households ... full story

Oikocredit Annual Report and press release highlighting 2017

ar18-v1.jpgApril 11 | 2018 Today Oikocredit published its annual report and press release for its 2017 financial results. full story

Enhancing coffee cooperatives’ price risk management

IMG_8949.jpgMarch 29 | 2018 From 21 February to 1 March, Oikocredit held two workshops in the Peruvian city of Jaén on price risk management (PRM) for coffee cooperatives in Peru and Colombia. full story

“Oikocredit is a frontrunner”: getting to know our director of risk

Laura Pool, director of risk at Oikocredit.jpgFebruary 28 | 2018 In December 2017, Oikocredit welcomed Laura Pool as our new director of risk and member of our managing board. We spoke to Laura about risk management, her passions and why she chose Oikocredit. full story

India summit: Putting people before profit by transforming the financial sector

ESA-IN-17.jpgFebruary 22 | 2018 Oikocredit and Maanaveeya, an Indian subsidiary of Oikocredit, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) are to co-host a summit on 23 February 2018 in Hyderabad, India to highlight the opportunities for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to become small finance banks (SFBs) whilst remaining true to their social mission. The event brings together representatives from 15 financial institutions/stakeholders across India. full story

Coffee for generations: Colombian coffee farmers’ perseverance and environmental care

RED-CO-51.jpgFebruary 19 | 2018 Oikocredit partner organisation Red Ecolsierra has enabled coffee farmers in Colombia to receive fair prices and increase the quality and quantity of production despite the violence and unrest that filled the region for decades. full story

Oikocredit Canada launches marketing competition for students

PEG-GH-25.jpgFebruary 14 | 2018 Do you know what it takes to reach millennials? We want to talk to you. full story

Local presence is our strong point

Maria photo.jpgFebruary 08 | 2018 Maria Koramoa heads Oikocredit's country office in Accra, Ghana's capital, and is the deputy head of Oikocredit West Africa. As a financial expert, Maria has studied economics, sociology and education in Birmingham and the Cape Coast. She is specialised in microfinance and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. During a Skype call, Maria shared some insights into her work. full story

Oikocredit and African Guarantee Fund sign new agreement to finance SMEs

AGF and Oikocredit 5January 29 | 2018 On 25 January, Oikocredit signed a new agreement with African Guarantee Fund (AGF) to boost financing to microfinance institutions and agricultural and renewable energy SMEs in Africa. The signing... full story

A sweet deal in southern Colombia

CONT-CO-47.jpgJanuary 24 | 2018 When it comes to committing to a business, there’s no doubting sugar cane farmer Pedro Bastidas. When asked about the development of his enterprise, he casually states: “In 2005, I exchanged my house for a sugar factory.” full story

Video: Support for women coffee growers in Brazil

CPFAM-BR-09.jpgJanuary 12 | 2018 Oikocredit partner Cooperativa dos Agricultores Familiares de Poço Fundo e Região (Coopfam) is a Brazilian coffee cooperative which is helping to empower women by supporting the production of a ... full story

Oikocredit Across Continents

Viviana and Zion.jpgDecember 07 | 2017 Katharina Welp, communications officer at Oikocredit’s support association North East Germany in Berlin, completed a one-week exchange visit to Oikocredit’s head office in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. She met up with two colleagues from Oikocredit’s regional offices who were also in Amersfoort for an exchange. full story

‘Banking on women’: empowering Kenyan women through microfinance

KWFT-Grace.jpgNovember 28 | 2017 “In Africa, there is nothing as important as empowering a woman. When you empower a woman, it’s as if you are empowering the whole country. KWFT is empowering me with education, with knowledge and with money.” full story

How women coffee farmers in Brazil are building economic independence

Dayany de Assis dos Santos Ferreira.jpgNovember 17 | 2017 The Coopfam (Cooperativa dos Agricultores Familiares de Poço Fundo e Região) coffee cooperative is empowering women to produce a speciality organic coffee and improve their livelihoods full story

Microfinance in action: Kick-starting a table football business

BancoPymedelaComunidad.jpgNovember 07 | 2017 Oikocredit’s longstanding partnership with Banco Pyme de la Comunidad is enabling micro-entrepreneurs in Bolivia to build flourishing, sustainable businesses full story

Oikocredit’s new forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue

Ueli Burkhalter 20162.jpgOctober 30 | 2017 Pastor Ueli Burkhalter is the seventh member of Oikocredit’s recently formed members' council (MC). The MC is a consultation and advisory body elected by Oikocredit’s member organisations to ... full story

Impact investors urged to consider impact over maximum returns

DSC03581 (2).JPGOctober 25 | 2017 The Womens' Policy Specialist for Oxfam Canada appeals to put impact first. full story

“Together, we are a movement.’’ Thos Gieskes’ first months at Oikocredit [interview]

Thos Gieskes.jpgOctober 19 | 2017 We caught up with Oikocredit’s managing director, Thos Gieskes, to hear about his first months at the global cooperative. In the interview, he talks about some of Oikocredit’s strengths and challenges along with insights from his journey in getting to know the ins and outs of the organisation. full story

Supporting organic coffee growers in southern Ecuador

FAPECAFES.jpgSeptember 26 | 2017 “Being organic is not just about paper certification - it’s a state of mind. It’s close to our hearts; farmers are choosing not to use fertilisers which damage everything,” says Miguel Mosquera as he walks alongside his coffee plants. full story

Indulge in a FAPECAFES fair trade coffee at our events across Europe

Jose.jpgSeptember 21 | 2017 Located in the mountains of southern Ecuador, Oikocredit partner FAPECAFES is an organisation of six cooperatives seeking to improve the conditions of its farmer members by commercialising fair trade and organic coffee. full story

How fair trade is helping smallholder coffee farmers succeed

Photo courtesy of Barista Magazine.jpgSeptember 15 | 2017 Fair Trade USA is the leading fair trade certifying body in North America, operating globally alongside the European-based Fairtrade International. Colleen Anunu, Fair Trade USA’s Senior Manager of Supply Chain, reflects on some of fair trade’s achievements and challenges, with a focus on the coffee sector. She also explains how Fair Trade USA and Oikocredit are teaming up to reduce price risks for coffee farmers. full story

Laura Pool appointed as chief risk officer

September 13 | 2017 Laura Pool will become Oikocredit’s chief risk officer on 18 December, heading the risk department and joining the managing board. full story

Oikocredit Argentina awards innovation in microfinance

Argentina Award Paola photo.jpgAugust 31 | 2017 Oikocredit is pleased to announce that Paola González from Programa Alumbra - Fundación Banco Macro is the winner of the Oikocredit Argentina Innovative Loan Officer award. The award was presented at the 11th annual summit on microfinance: The role of microfinance in financial inclusion held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 29 August. full story

Cooperatives supporting fruit farmers in northern Patagonia

PAI-newsitem-2.jpgAugust 10 | 2017 Herminio Antonio Urrutia is 61 years old and has been a member of the fruit-growers’ cooperative Primera Cooperativa Frutícola in Argentina’s northern Patagonia for over 20 years, or as he puts it: “Ever since I started my own business!” full story

More coffee trees to fill another cup and support the smallholder farmer

Impexcor.jpgJuly 26 | 2017 Whether you’re in need of a boost or you’re just the average coffee lover, waking up to the smell of roasted beans is what often gets us through the day. Coffee is easy to enjoy, however, we often don’t realise what it takes to get this wake-up cup into our hands. full story

Leading Agricultural Lenders Deploy $682 Million to Support Small Businesses and Farmer Livelihoods Globally

SODAR-RW-30.jpgJuly 19 | 2017 Oikocredit and the 10 other members of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF) today announced in their newly published State of the Sector report that they provided $682 million in loans to 765 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during 2016. full story

Report from Heather Keachie

Heather Keachie head and shoulders.jpgJuly 18 | 2017 At the June meeting of the Oikocredit Canada Board, I was elected Support Association President. Let me take this opportunity to talk to you about our activities and plans. full story

Strengthening People and Planet [interview]

Kawien 1.JPGJuly 04 | 2017 As Oikocredit publishes its Social & Environmental Performance Report for 2016, Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, deputy director of social performance and capacity building, explains some of the thinking behind the organization’s approach to social and environmental performance. full story

40 million people, 84% being women, reached by organisations financed by Oikocredit

SEP report 2017 coverJune 27 | 2017 Today these results and more were released in Oikocredit’s Social and Environmental Performance Report for 2016. full story

Oikocredit annual general meeting elects supervisory board members, approves dividend

Joseph Patterson.jpgJune 15 | 2017 This week over 120 members and staff of Oikocredit International gathered for a week of meetings in Accra, Ghana, including the annual general meeting (AGM) and a conference with speakers from across Ghana’s financial inclusion sector. full story

Agriculture Report 2016 - Announcement

Agriculture report 2016 DEF cover.jpgJune 08 | 2017 Oikocredit's Agriculture Report for 2016 is now online. This report examines trends in the portfolio growth, quality and composition over the past four years. full story

Oikocredit delivers fresh insights into rural-urban poverty

Farmers-philippines-microfinance-rural-potatoes.jpgMay 31 | 2017 Supporting financial inclusion in low and lower income countries by investing in microfinance institutions (MFIs) is central to Oikocredit’s mission. However, as Thelma Brenes Muñoz of Oikocredit’s social performance team says: “We also want to know more about how this work affects the lives of the people receiving loans.” full story

World Fair Trade Day: Celebrating Oikocredit’s partners across the globe

manos 2.jpgMay 12 | 2017 Fair trade is defined as ‘a movement whose goal is to help producers in developing countries to get a fair price for their products so as to reduce poverty, provide for the ethical treatment of workers and farmers, and promote environmentally sustainable practices.’ full story

Kompanion Bank blends capital and business knowledge to create self-sustainable futures

KOMP-KG-39-cropped.jpgApril 26 | 2017 Kompanion Bank was established in 2004 to provide loans to small scale farmers, livestock herders and shepherds in Kyrgyzstan. It has been an Oikocredit partner since 2007. However, Kompanion is a bank with a difference because it not only provides micro loans to its clients but also offers them free business development training and technical assistance in order to promote sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. full story