Oikocredit is an international cooperative headquartered in Amersfoort (Netherlands). The aim of Oikocredit is the development through lending to microfinance institutions, cooperatives and small businesses of disadvantaged people in developing countries as well as the mobilization of church and private capital for such projects.


Oikocredit was founded in 1975 on the initiative of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Development Cooperative under the name Society ( EDCS ) with the objective of mobilizing the Church reserves for promoting development. The basic approach to link development through loans with a valuable investment, initially met at church financial and development experts with skepticism. End of the 1970s, individuals and churches came together in support groups that make up today, the bulk of the capital of Oikocredit.

Criteria of lending

Oikocredit taken into account in lending following criteria:

  • Economic and social benefits for groups of disadvantaged people
  • Broad involvement structures, especially by women
  • Ecological compatibility
  • Economic viability
  • Requirements of foreign financing

Promoted economic sectors

Organization and functioning of

Oikocredit has a worldwide network of 35 regional and country offices. They advise potential local business partners, work with them to a financing plan and provide a loan application to the main office. After approval of the regional and country offices support the project during the entire project period.

The main office approved credit applications, monitors payments, provides centralized services for the regional offices are available and makes international public relations.

The selected time on supervising board consists of international development experts who design the strategic direction and provide the General Assembly, as the highest decision-making body of the cooperative.

In addition to support groups, in which private investors, church communities, smaller organizations have joined forces, churches and church organizations, development organizations and successful project partner members - and investors - from Oikocredit. In accordance with the cooperative principles, each Member shall, regardless of the share capital each have one vote in the General Assembly.

About support groups (mainly in Europe), private individuals, parishes, and smaller organizations involved with investments in Oikocredit. The Presidia in trust the shares of their members and engage in education and outreach. In Germany, there are eight support groups, as well as a branch of Oikocredit International. Worldwide over 43,000 individual investors in 31 support groups 80 % of the capital of Oikocredit.


  • Project financing: EUR 516 million
  • 862 partner organizations in 69 countries (of which 595 microfinance institutions )
  • Investor:
  • Operating Costs: 3.2% - measured by total assets
  • Employees: 240-48 nationalities
  • Oikocredit about the partner organizations reached borrowers: 26 million

Information: of 31 December 2011

Evaluation of the work

Oikocredit has commissioned several independent research institutes in order to investigate the developmental benefits of the loans. In May 2009, Oikocredit commissioned study " Women's Empowerment was. Comparing concepts & assesing implications for microfinance " published. It examines the impact of microfinance on the socio -economic position of women in developing countries. In collaboration with the Grameen Foundation, Oikocredit the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI ) has developed to measure the impact of microfinance on the lives of small business owners. For 2009, Oikocredit has for the first time presented a report on social impact analysis ( Social Performance Report ).