Oikocredit outperforms sector in microfinance outreach to women

The social impact investor's latest Social & Environmental Performance Report also showed strong progress on indicators for renewable energy

Amersfoort, the Netherlands – Social impact investor Oikocredit continues to surpass the sector average for outreach to female microfinance clients, according to indicators published today in Oikocredit's Social and Environmental Performance Report 2017.

In 2017 almost 90% of clients reached by the microfinance organisations in which Oikocredit invests are women. This compares to an average of 70% for the sector as reported in the latest Symbiotics MIV Survey1, which presents sector data for 2016.

Oikocredit also surpassed the sector average for outreach to female microfinance clients in 2014, 2015 and 2016 when comparing year-on-year with the Symbiotics data for the same period2.

The latest report shows how Oikocredit used over € 980 million to finance almost 750 organisations in 2017, reaching 36 million financial inclusion clients and over half a million farmers.

Oikocredit also saw gains in its renewable energy indicators. The number of households with improved access to energy thanks to Oikocredit’s investments grew to 15,600 households, compared to 5,400 households in 2016, while a total of 38,100 tons of greenhouse gases were avoided, compared to 6,960 in 2016.

The report also details Oikocredit’s capacity building activities. In 2017 the social impact investor mobilised € 845,500 of funding (up 53% from 2016) from donors and Oikocredit itself to support 100 organisations in strengthening their operations.

Thos Gieskes, Managing Director at Oikocredit, said: "The empowerment of women is essential for a just society and we see financial inclusion as fundamental to accomplishing this. We’re committed to maximising our social impact in each of our focus sectors: financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy. We’re also committed to measuring our impact.”

Ging Ledesma, Director of Social Performance and Investor Relations said: "It’s important to show our investors and members that we’re delivering on our promise to them, and to demonstrate the difference we can make with their support. Capacity building is crucial to Oikocredit’s work as a catalytic organisation leading positive change."

How Oikocredit’s investments reach women

Margaret Karicho (left) is the owner of Maggie Fashions and a client of Jitegemea Credit Scheme, which is financed by Oikocredit. She sells petticoats at a wholesale fashion market in the Eastlands area of Nairobi, Kenya. She has three branches in total and business is brisk. Margaret started her business in 1981 and after being granted her first loan in 2000, sales grew by 50%. She now has an individual loan of 1 million KES a year. Margaret’s goal is to improve her standard of living.

Analiza Docpano (left) is a flower farmer in the Philippines and a member of RSPI, a microfinance institution financed by Oikocredit. Analiza receives loans from RSPI and has a savings account with the institution. Analiza has worked in flower growing for 25 years and has doubled the size of her plot over the years. Her flowers are sold in Manila and her farm employs her husband and her in-laws. Her ambition is to ensure her children finish school and will be able to find jobs in the future.

Sara Sonia Garcia Perez (left) is a fourth-generation beekeeper and member of Miel Mexicana, a cooperative financed by Oikocredit and focused on the production of fair trade and organic honey for export from Mexico. Sara says that the benefits of being part of a cooperative include receiving a higher price for her honey than she would on her own. Sara would like carry on working with bees and Miel Mexicana.

Seamstress Suparna Samanta (left) bought a home solar package from Oikocredit investee Punam Energy in India in 2014. The solar lamps enable Suparna to sew and her daughters to study in the evening. Although Suparna’s community was recently connected to the grid, her solar system enables her to cut down on bills and receive a steady supply of energy despite power cuts affecting the grid.

Read Oikocredit's Social and Environmental Performance Report

The full report is available to download here: www.oikocredit.coop/sepr

About Oikocredit

Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has over 40 years’ experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy. Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to sustainably improve their living standards. Oikocredit finances over 700 partners and had total outstanding capital of € 970 million at 31 March 2018.

 1https://symbioticsgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Symbiotics-2017-MIV-Survey.pdf

2 Oikocredit’s 2017 data cannot yet be mapped with the Symbiotics data for 2017 because the Symbiotics data for 2017 will be published only later this year. 

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