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

Greenforest begins our European road show

GREEN-KE-09.jpgOctober 09 | 2019 Yesterday evening in Hamburg Oikocredit’s partner Greenforest, a leading Kenyan honey brand, began our annual road show, bringing our partner and investors together. full story

Oikocredit invests in Ugandan tea processor Kayonza

Kayonza - Tea plantlets at Kayonza Tea Factory - Credit Solidaridad & Joshua Rukundo.jpgOctober 01 | 2019 Solidaridad helped community enterprise Kayonza Growers Tea Factory secure a USD 3.15 million loan from Oikocredit, for the benefit of Kayonza's 7,500 smallholder farmers. full story

Oikocredit increases investment in Colombian fintech Sempli

Sempli co-founders Felipe Llano (L) & Esteban Velasco (R).jpgSeptember 24 | 2019 Oikocredit has teamed with Incofin to lead a round raising USD 8 million of investment in fintech partner Sempli, to help grow thousands more small businesses in Colombia. full story

Interview: Oikocredit’s latest Impact Report

Ging Ledesma-cropforuse.jpgSeptember 17 | 2019 We interviewed Ging Ledesma, Oikocredit’s Director of Social Performance Innovation, to get behind some of the numbers from Oikocredit’s Impact Report 2019, and revisit fundamental questions about social impact. full story

Oikocredit launches Impact Report 2019

Oikocredit-Impact-Report-2019_EN-cover.jpgSeptember 10 | 2019 Oikocredit’s Impact Report is now live and ready for download. The new publication replaces the Social and Environmental Performance Report and showcases data from across Oikocredit’s activities. full story

Organizational changes in Canada

August 06 | 2019 Oikocredit Canada to become a single, nation-wide Support Association following year-end closure of Oikocredit Atlantic Canada Cooperative. full story

Boosting efforts across focus sectors and strengthening partners

Thos2.jpgJuly 31 | 2019 As we head into the second half of the year, Oikocredit’s Managing Director, Thos Gieskes, brings us up to date on the cooperative’s latest developments. He explains how we are boosting efforts in our focus sectors and going beyond finance to broaden the ways in which we support our partners, aiming to strengthen their businesses and their networks.

The interview also highlights this year’s annual general meeting (AGM) held in June and offers some insight into our upcoming Impact Report to be published in September. full story

Interview: Providing affordable housing loans for low and middle-income families in Cambodia

AGM-2019-03.jpgJuly 24 | 2019 Sothany Chun is the CEO of Oikocredit partner First Finance plc, a financial institution which provides housing and home-improvement loans to people on low and middle-incomes in Cambodia. Oikocredit’s Support Association in the Netherlands recently met with her to discuss her background, work and how First Finance is helping to improve lives by increasing access to home ownership. full story

Jessy’s Story: A Taste of Success in Zambia

EFC-ZM-20.jpgJuly 10 | 2019 “I am passionate about cooking and I taught myself how to cook. I also teach my staff. I buy local products and have a farmer who grows certain ingredients especially for me,” says Jessy Chipindo, restaurant owner and client of Oikocredit partner Entrepreneurs Financial Centre Zambia. full story

Oikocredit annual general meeting votes on dividend and supervisory board  

AGM-2019-cropped.jpgJune 21 | 2019 From 17 to 20 June 2019 delegates from Oikocredit member organisations and Oikocredit staff gathered in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, for the annual general meeting (AGM) week. full story

Bridging the Gender Gap…. At Home

Irene Valdez.jpgJune 13 | 2019 Not so long ago, Ka Oting Villanueva, like many men in the central Philippines province of Negros Occidental, regarded a husband’s role as simply that of a provider. “He never used to help me with any of the household chores,” says his wife. “In fact, I don’t think it ever crossed his mind!” full story

How do coffee cooperatives support smallholder coffee farmers in Peru?

APROC-PE-45.jpgMay 29 | 2019 Two billion cups of coffee served every day. 200 billion US dollars in sales every year. So why are some farmers happy when none of their children wish to follow them into the coffee-growing business? full story

Equity investment to foster sustainable coffee trading

file1-5.jpegMay 22 | 2019 Oikocredit has announced a US$ 4.7 million investment in Caravela Coffee, a Latin American responsible specialty coffee trader. full story

Oikocredit expands its fintech portfolio in Mexico

3. Karina Perez Borja 2, Colaborador Kubo.JPGMay 02 | 2019 Oikocredit has invested in Mexican fintech Ku-Bo Financiero to boost access to affordable finance for individuals across Mexico. full story

CAFIID Knowledge Exchange Series on Innovative Finance

cafiid kxs full.pngMay 01 | 2019 Oikocredit Canada is pleased to support the Canadian Forum for Impact Investing and Development (CAFIID) with a series of workshops on new models of investment and financing in emerging markets. full story

Oikocredit and MOCA join forces to strengthen cocoa cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire

Oikocredit and CNFA MOCA sign MoU.JPGApril 16 | 2019 Oikocredit and the Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) project have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the sustainable development of smallholder cocoa cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire. full story

It’s more than just finance [interview]

Laura Pool, director of risk at Oikocredit.jpgApril 10 | 2019 Oikocredit just published its financial results for 2018. For a deeper look at the results and insights on how the cooperative is working towards improving its future results, we interviewed Oikocredit’s Director of Finance & Risk, Laura Pool. In the interview Laura also explains why providing expertise and using the right financial instruments can make all the difference. full story

Oikocredit publishes its annual report for 2018 along with key financial highlights

Annual report 2018 cover.jpgMarch 27 | 2019 Today Oikocredit announced its annual results for 2018. The press release explains how despite changes at the organisation and the prevailing low interest rate environment, Oikocredit has managed to grow its development financing portfolio. full story

Technology is part of the solution

Vincent1.JPGMarch 25 | 2019 Financial technologies – “fintech” for short – are revolutionising the financial industry worldwide. How can technological developments further financial inclusion? What impact is fintech having on Oikocredit and its partners?

Oikocredit’s West Germany Support Association spoke to Oikocredit’s Business Development Specialist in Amersfoort, Vincent van Dugteren, to find out. full story

Oikocredit invests in affordable housing finance provider Sitara in India

sitara.PNGMarch 21 | 2019 Oikocredit has made an equity investment of INR 670 million in affordable housing finance company Sitara together with Omidyar Network india, HDFC Life Insurance, HDFC Holdings Ltd. and Women’s World Banking to foster inclusion and equality in the Indian home loans sector. full story

Oikocredit Joins OCIC's Transformations Exhibit

eugene transformationsMarch 04 | 2019 Transformations: Stories of Partnership, Resilience and Positive Change is an award-winning collaborative photojournalism initiative intended to increase dialogue and further understanding of international partnerships that address complex global challenges. full story

Empowering women in Indonesia through financial inclusion

KOM-ID-20.jpgFebruary 28 | 2019 Mimin Among wears a broad smile when talking about how she earns a living making krupuk (Indonesian deep-fried prawn crackers): “We started a small business in 2004 after years of working for other people. We joined the Komida cooperative in 2009 and used our first loan to buy woks which we still use now. The business is doing well and we employ 10 neighbours to help us keep up with demand.” full story

Patrick Stutvoet becomes Oikocredit’s new Director of IT and Operations

Patrick Stutvoet.jpgFebruary 27 | 2019 Oikocredit is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Stutvoet as Director of IT and Operations, and newest member of the cooperative’s Managing Board, effective 1 March 2019. full story

Oikocredit invests in Laudex to encourage social inclusion in Mexico’s education sector

laudex sq.PNGFebruary 18 | 2019 Oikocredit has closed an investment of USD 3.3 million in Laudex, a financial inclusion institution providing loans to students for higher education in Mexico. full story

With my chickens, I feel free

Blog 1.jpgJanuary 30 | 2019 Last month, a group of Oikocredit investors, volunteers and staff spent a week in Peru for the 2018 study tour. One of the partners they visited was financial inclusion organisation ProEmpresa and its end-clients in Lima’s suburbs. Marion Wedegärtner from Oikocredit’s West German Support Association shared her impressions of the trip. full story

Reflecting on 2018 and looking forward

Thos Gieskes.jpgJanuary 29 | 2019 Oikocredit’s Managing Director, Thos Gieskes, reflects on 2018 and shares what is ahead for the cooperative. full story

Strengthening market access for small-scale farmers in India

YCOOK-IN-17.jpgJanuary 17 | 2019 “Before we worked with Y-Cook we didn’t grow sweet corn, but only flowers and millet. With corn we have fixed prices, which are much better,” says Krishna Muthy, a farmer from the village of Kanekal in India’s Andhra Pradesh state. As a farmer supplier to Oikocredit’s Indian partner Y-Cook, he has seen his corn crop prices and yields improve significantly, providing him with a stable income and a better quality of life for his whole family. full story

Oikocredit invests in SolarNow to help bring solar energy to 17,500 customers in Uganda

SolarNow.jpgJanuary 08 | 2019 Oikocredit has closed its largest investment yet in off-grid solar company SolarNow, together with SunFunder and responsAbility. full story

Building Disaster Resiliency: A Guidebook

Guidebook Front Cover Portrait.pngDecember 12 | 2018 Disaster resiliency is an important component in Oikocredit’s capacity building work with partners in areas prone to natural disasters. After successfully piloting a disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) programme in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, it has now been extended to partners in other countries like Ecuador. full story

Oikocredit’s updated Vision & Strategy published

Strategyobjectives.pngDecember 03 | 2018 Oikocredit has published its updated Vision & Strategy. The brochure sets out Oikocredit’s strategic direction for the coming years, including the cooperative’s strategic ambitions and the ... full story

Call for Oikocredit Supervisory Board applications

SB application.PNGNovember 29 | 2018 Oikocredit is seeking skilled and experienced individuals to stand for election to its Supervisory Board during the next Annual General Meeting in June 2019. full story

A new operating model for Oikocredit [interview]

Bart logo image.PNGNovember 27 | 2018 Earlier this year, Oikocredit introduced its updated strategy. Bart van Eyk, Oikocredit’s Director of Investments, shares the latest details of our updated strategy and explains how changes to our regional setup will help us to better serve our partners with the aim of creating an even stronger social impact. full story

Investors and volunteers visit Oikocredit partners in Peru

CENFR-PE-30.jpgNovember 26 | 2018 A group of Oikocredit investors, volunteers and staff will soon be heading to Peru for this year’s study tour, which takes place from 2 to 8 December. Participants will visit a financial inclusion organisation and its end-clients in Lima. In Jaén and San Ignacio, they will visit a fair-trade coffee cooperative and its farmer members. full story

Turning organic waste into energy: how Oikocredit offsets its carbon footprint

FCF Image 1_Cooking on biogas.jpgNovember 20 | 2018 Offsetting carbon is an important way for Oikocredit to contribute to climate change mitigation and protection of the environment. For almost a year now, Oikocredit has been working with FairClimateFund to offset its carbon footprint. full story

Preserving the future of cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

ECOO-CI-18.jpgNovember 13 | 2018 Nearly half of the world’s chocolate supply is grown in Côte d’Ivoire1, where more than a million smallholder farmers depend on cocoa production for their livelihoods. Cocoa is also vital to the ... full story

Wool with a name

Manos 2 of 2.jpgNovember 05 | 2018 John Lennon wore Manos del Uruguay, and among its current fans are a number of celebrities and even royalty. All Manos products are signed by the woman who dyed the wool, and each product is handcrafted and therefore unique. full story

Oikocredit invests in FinTech Sempli to support sustainable growth of SMEs in Colombia

Esteban-Felipe1_8.jpgOctober 31 | 2018 Together with the Inter-American Development Bank (BID LAB), Oikocredit has closed an investment of USD 5.7 million in the Colombian FinTech Sempli. full story

Oikocredit invests in Kenyan fertiliser plant to raise farmers’ yields and incomes

News item Fertiplant photo.jpgOctober 23 | 2018 Oikocredit has made an equity investment in Sub Saharan Africa’s first fertiliser granulation and manufacturing plant Fertiplant East Africa. Oikocredit joins the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in funding construction of the plant, which will benefit farmers’ incomes and enhance food security in the region. full story

Financial results for social impact [interview]

Irene van Oostwaard.jpgOctober 17 | 2018 As Oikocredit implements its updated strategy, the cooperative continues to work with its members and investors to share the latest developments and progress being made. The worldwide cooperative’s West Germany Support Association recently sat down with Irene van Oostwaard, Director of Finance at Oikocredit, to learn more about current financial topics, as well as Irene's own insights and passion for the organisation. full story

Making a difference in Mexico: the value of investing in SMEs

Image 2 CON-MX-03.jpgOctober 10 | 2018 Financial inclusion is Oikocredit’s largest priority sector. Through Oikocredit’s updated strategy the cooperative aims to deepen its engagement with its microfinance partners while also seeking partners beyond traditional financial institutions. Oikocredit is increasingly aiming to make an impact for the ‘missing middle’ by targeting finance to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) – like it is doing in Mexico. full story

Fintech and social impact investing in India [interview]

Arun Nayyar.jpgOctober 02 | 2018 As part of its updated strategy, Oikocredit continues to seek partnerships beyond traditional financial institutions. Partnering with fintech companies that target underserved communities with innovative financial technologies is one way the cooperative is doing this. To learn more about the role of fintech in social impact investing, and more specifically in India, we spoke with Arun Nayyar, the CEO of Oikocredit partner NeoGrowth. full story

Oikocredit’s equity investment supports India’s agriculture value chain

Origo 1.jpegOctober 01 | 2018 Oikocredit has made an equity investment in Origo Commodities, a company which provides post-harvest agriculture supply chain financing and logistics solutions across 12 Indian states to over 3,500 clients, including more than 1,400 farmers. full story

Oikocredit signs Fair Trade Charter to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals

RAh__k9A.pngSeptember 25 | 2018 Today, Oikocredit joined more than 250 organisations around the world in launching an International Fair Trade Charter which sets down the fundamental values of Fair Trade and defines a common vision toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). full story

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