The founding of Oikocredit began at a 1968 World Council of Churches meeting. Young, politically engaged church members called for an ethical investment channel to support peace and universal equality.
In 1968, the concept of Oikocredit was both an innovation and a controversy.
EDCS faces difficulties as it tries to raise enough start-up investments by churches. The idea of lending to organizations which help the poor gradually gains support and by the end of 70s EDCS makes its first two investments in India and in Ecuador.
EDCS makes a lot of progress extending investment opportunities to individuals and turning over its first operating profit. By the end of the decade EDCS pays out its first dividend to investors and approves its 100th loan.
EDCS disburses its first fair trade loan. A new managing director takes the reins in 1994. The Asian Financial Crisis puts serious economic pressure on the region, but EDCS is still able to pay out a dividend.
Tor G. Gull steps in as Managing Director | The UN adopts the Millenium Development Goals, including gender equality and poverty reduction | Oikocredit wins CGAP social performance award
New challenges to the sector highlight Oikocredit's mission: to ensure the poor can gain access to safe, financial instruments to build a better life.