The idea of Oikocredit

The idea of Oikocredit starts at a 1968 meeting of the World Council of Churches with young politically engaged church members, from a variety of denominations, calling for an ethical investment channel that supports peace and universal brotherhood.

Social justice

From the start our goal has been to promote social justice by providing credit to productive enterprises run by disadvantaged people.

To support this, the Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society (EDCS) was founded in 1975. Now churches and church-related organizations had their own alternative investment channel.

A hesitant start

Some remained uncomfortable with the idea of investing money, rather than giving money to the disadvantaged. Others disagreed with investing church money without maximising financial return.

Support associations the driving force

Many individual church members around Europe believed in the concept of social investment and launched support associations. Today, these continue to mobilize the largest portion of Oikocredit’s member capital.

Our partners are our biggest asset 

Over time, our partners have proven the viability of Oikocredit. Their remarkable repayment rate and social impacts remain our greatest asset.

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