Our history detail



Agrisem Guatemala

Oikocredit launches an agriculture unit headed from Lima, Peru.

The cooperative also diversifies into renewable energy, recruiting a renewable energy financing expert, to source deals across low-income countries.



David Woods

Oikocredit gains a new Managing Director when David Woods takes the reins as the year begins.



Internation Year of Cooperatives

2012 is declared the United Nation's International Year of Cooperatives.

Ben Simmes is appointed Oikocredit’s Managing Director.

Also this year Oikocredit joins forces with Dutch development bank FMO to launch a €10 million fund to create business opportunities in low income countries.



Principios para la Inversión Responsable

Oikocredit becomes a founding signatory of the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance (PIIF). The principles are a guide for development finance investors to ensure low-income clients remain the priority across the sector.

In July, Rosalind Copisarow joins the organization as managing director.



Informe de Desempeño Social

Oikocredit presents its first official Social Performance Report. Initiatives including the Progress out of Poverty Index are implemented among several partners.

The same year, Oikocredit launches its new logo worldwide.



Princess Máxima and former Oikocredit board president, Shobha Arole

Oikocredit celebrates the fact that it has disbursed 1 billion euros of funds.

In the same year, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands attends an Oikocredit panel discussion in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, and receives the first copy of Oikocredit’s Women's Empowerment report.



One of Oikocredit’s Fair Trade partners, Divine Chocolate

Oikocredit announces 2008 as the Year of Fair Trade and emphasizes its support for fair trade organizations through loans, credit lines, equity investments and guarantees.



Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and Oikocredit managing director Tor G. Gull

Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Foundation are awarded the Nobel Peace prize for creating economic and social development from below.



Princess Máxima of the Netherlands visits MFIs in Kenya as part of the Year of Microcredit

2005 is named the Year of Microcredit by the United Nations.

In the same year, Oikocredit receives its 1000th loan proposal, and celebrates its 30th anniversary.



Former Oikocredit managing director Tor G. Gul

Tor G. Gull takes over from Gert van Maanen as Oikocredit's fourth managing director.



Oikocredit board president Zanele Mbeki and managing director Gert van Maanen meet Pope John Paul II

The UN develops and adopts the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015. Oikocredit continues to work towards the achievement of these goals.

In the same year, the Catholic Church celebrates its Jubilee and former Oikocredit president Zanele Mbeki and former managing director Gert van Maanen meet Pope John Paul II.



EDCS changes its name to Oikocredit and launches its new logo, which revamps the WCC ship image giving the organization a fresh look.

Also in 1999, Oikocredit approves its 500th loan.



The idea of creating a local currency fund is suggested, although lending in local currency has been done since the 80s. This means partners take less risk with currency fluctuations. EDCS also decides to absorb conversion fees.
The next year, three Local Currency Risk Funds are developed: Indonesia, the Philippines and other countries.
1998 also marks the year of the first EDCS country office, based in Slovakia.



A speaker at EDCS’s 1997 Annual General Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand

EDCS's (Oikocredit) Annual General Meeting is held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

In that same year the Asian Financial Crisis starts in Thailand, severely affecting many EDCS partners.As a result, EDCS lowers its dividend for the first time since 1989.



Former managing director Gert van Maanen

Gert van Maanen is appointed EDCS's (Oikocredit) third managing director.

In the same year, loan commitments hit 50 million euros.



EDCS General Meeting in Ghana, 1992

Oikocredit approves its 200th loan.

1992 also saw the biggest intergovernmental conference in history in Rio de Janeiro, resulting in Agenda 21, a plan for sustainable development.



UK fashion label People Tree is one of Oikocredit’s Fair Trade partners

EDCS approves its first fair trade loan to Max Havelaar, the Dutch campaign and certification group responsible for the Fairtrade mark.



EDCS’s first female regional manager, Sally Bulatao of the Philippines

EDCS pays its first dividend to investors.

Also in 1989, EDCS approves its 100th loan and appoints its first female board president and regional manager, Sally Bulatao of the Philippines



AGM 1988, in BsAs, voting for the launch of EDCS's International Share and Support Foundations

The International Share Foundation is created, allowing individuals to invest from anywhere in the world. Churches, support associations and partners are now allowed to become members of the cooperative.

The International Support Foundation is also established this year, to directly fund capacity building and training programmes for partners.



Former Chilean partner Fundación Solidaridad

EDCS has its first operating profit.

The following year marks EDCS's first loan to be used for microfinance. The investment goes to an organization in Chile, at a time South America's economy is in turmoil.



Former managing director Douglas Brunson at Oikocredit's 30th anniversary celebrations in 2005

Douglas Brunson becomes EDCS's (Oikocredit) second managing director.



EDCS’s Turkish partner specialized in bee-keeping

EDCS (Oikocredit) has 16 project partners in 12 countries, including Turkey and Surinam.



The New York Times, Sunday 19 July 1981

EDCS features in The New York Times. The story profiles EDCS as a pioneer of a new concept: investing in enterprises that support the poor, instead of donating or giving grants.



Oikocredit’s first Latin American partner Puno (Peru)

EDCS (Oikocredit)’s first Latin American office opens in Peru. In the same year the first loan for the region is disbursed: USD 350,000 to Puno, Peru.



Queen Juliana

EDCS receives a royal boost with a start-up grant from Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.

In the same year, Oikocredit’s first African office opens in Nairobi, Kenya.



Vellore Medical College and Hospital in India

EDCS disburses its first loans of USD 100,000 to Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progresivo (FEPP) in Ecuador and USD 200,000 to Vellore Medical College and Hospital in India.

In the same year, EDCS also starts raising funds in the USA and Germany


Adrian Wijemanne

EDCS's first managing director Adrian Wijemanne (left)

EDCS (Oikocredit) becomes independent of the WCC and its first Managing Director, Adrian Wijemanne from Sri Lanka, is appointed.



Oikocredit Netherlands, the first support association

Individual church members in Europe start to show their belief in Oikocredit EDCS. The first support association is established in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Also in 1976, Muhammad Yunus starts the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.



EDCS interim managing director Cyril Bennett

Oikocredit EDCS becomes a legally incorporated entity in the Netherlands, with Cyril Bennett as interim managing director.

The first logo is a variation on the World Council of Churches logo, which features the ecumenical ship.



Lighting the candles, WCC.

At a meeting in West Germany, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee officially recommends the WCC to become a founding member of Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society (EDCS), today known as Oikocredit.



World Council of Churches in 1968: the launch of EDCS

At a 1968 meeting of the World Council of Churches, the idea of an ethical investment channel for churches and related organizations was put forward, with the intention that investments would provide credit to enterprises that support the disadvantaged.