Regional Support Associations

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Why Support Associations?

Oikocredit Canada’s Support Associations are groups of volunteers whose members are engaged in promoting Oikocredit’s mission. Volunteer associations are part of a long-standing tradition in Oikocredit’s work. In addition to being active volunteers for Oikocredit, Support Associations are members of the Oikocredit International co-operative.

Oikocredit has two Support Associations in Canada – Oikocredit Canada and Oikocredit Canada Atlantic. Click on the regions to learn more about how you can get involved in your local Support Association.

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News

With my chickens, I feel free

Blog 1.jpgJanuary 30 | 2019 Last month, a group of Oikocredit investors, volunteers and staff spent a week in Peru for the 2018 study tour. One of the partners they visited was financial inclusion organisation ProEmpresa and its end-clients in Lima’s suburbs. Marion Wedegärtner from Oikocredit’s West German Support Association shared her impressions of the trip. full story

Reflecting on 2018 and looking forward

Thos Gieskes.jpgJanuary 29 | 2019 Oikocredit’s Managing Director, Thos Gieskes, reflects on 2018 and shares what is ahead for the cooperative. full story

Strengthening market access for small-scale farmers in India

YCOOK-IN-17.jpgJanuary 17 | 2019 “Before we worked with Y-Cook we didn’t grow sweet corn, but only flowers and millet. With corn we have fixed prices, which are much better,” says Krishna Muthy, a farmer from the village of Kanekal in India’s Andhra Pradesh state. As a farmer supplier to Oikocredit’s Indian partner Y-Cook, he has seen his corn crop prices and yields improve significantly, providing him with a stable income and a better quality of life for his whole family. full story

Oikocredit invests in SolarNow to help bring solar energy to 17,500 customers in Uganda

SolarNow.jpgJanuary 08 | 2019 Oikocredit has closed its largest investment yet in off-grid solar company SolarNow, together with SunFunder and responsAbility. full story

Building Disaster Resiliency: A Guidebook

Guidebook Front Cover Portrait.pngDecember 12 | 2018 Disaster resiliency is an important component in Oikocredit’s capacity building work with partners in areas prone to natural disasters. After successfully piloting a disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) programme in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, it has now been extended to partners in other countries like Ecuador. full story

Oikocredit’s updated Vision & Strategy published

Strategyobjectives.pngDecember 03 | 2018 Oikocredit has published its updated Vision & Strategy. The brochure sets out Oikocredit’s strategic direction for the coming years, including the cooperative’s strategic ambitions and the ... full story

Call for Oikocredit Supervisory Board applications

SB application.PNGNovember 29 | 2018 Oikocredit is seeking skilled and experienced individuals to stand for election to its Supervisory Board during the next Annual General Meeting in June 2019. full story

A new operating model for Oikocredit [interview]

Bart logo image.PNGNovember 27 | 2018 Earlier this year, Oikocredit introduced its updated strategy. Bart van Eyk, Oikocredit’s Director of Investments, shares the latest details of our updated strategy and explains how changes to our regional setup will help us to better serve our partners with the aim of creating an even stronger social impact. full story

Investors and volunteers visit Oikocredit partners in Peru

CENFR-PE-30.jpgNovember 26 | 2018 A group of Oikocredit investors, volunteers and staff will soon be heading to Peru for this year’s study tour, which takes place from 2 to 8 December. Participants will visit a financial inclusion organisation and its end-clients in Lima. In Jaén and San Ignacio, they will visit a fair-trade coffee cooperative and its farmer members. full story

Turning organic waste into energy: how Oikocredit offsets its carbon footprint

FCF Image 1_Cooking on biogas.jpgNovember 20 | 2018 Offsetting carbon is an important way for Oikocredit to contribute to climate change mitigation and protection of the environment. For almost a year now, Oikocredit has been working with FairClimateFund to offset its carbon footprint. full story

Preserving the future of cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

ECOO-CI-18.jpgNovember 13 | 2018 Nearly half of the world’s chocolate supply is grown in Côte d’Ivoire1, where more than a million smallholder farmers depend on cocoa production for their livelihoods. Cocoa is also vital to the ... full story

Wool with a name

Manos 2 of 2.jpgNovember 05 | 2018 John Lennon wore Manos del Uruguay, and among its current fans are a number of celebrities and even royalty. All Manos products are signed by the woman who dyed the wool, and each product is handcrafted and therefore unique. full story

Oikocredit invests in FinTech Sempli to support sustainable growth of SMEs in Colombia

Esteban-Felipe1_8.jpgOctober 31 | 2018 Together with the Inter-American Development Bank (BID LAB), Oikocredit has closed an investment of USD 5.7 million in the Colombian FinTech Sempli. full story

Oikocredit invests in Kenyan fertiliser plant to raise farmers’ yields and incomes

News item Fertiplant photo.jpgOctober 23 | 2018 Oikocredit has made an equity investment in Sub Saharan Africa’s first fertiliser granulation and manufacturing plant Fertiplant East Africa. Oikocredit joins the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in funding construction of the plant, which will benefit farmers’ incomes and enhance food security in the region. full story

Financial results for social impact [interview]

Irene van Oostwaard.jpgOctober 17 | 2018 As Oikocredit implements its updated strategy, the cooperative continues to work with its members and investors to share the latest developments and progress being made. The worldwide cooperative’s West Germany Support Association recently sat down with Irene van Oostwaard, Director of Finance at Oikocredit, to learn more about current financial topics, as well as Irene's own insights and passion for the organisation. full story

Making a difference in Mexico: the value of investing in SMEs

Image 2 CON-MX-03.jpgOctober 10 | 2018 Financial inclusion is Oikocredit’s largest priority sector. Through Oikocredit’s updated strategy the cooperative aims to deepen its engagement with its microfinance partners while also seeking partners beyond traditional financial institutions. Oikocredit is increasingly aiming to make an impact for the ‘missing middle’ by targeting finance to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) – like it is doing in Mexico. full story

Fintech and social impact investing in India [interview]

Arun Nayyar.jpgOctober 02 | 2018 As part of its updated strategy, Oikocredit continues to seek partnerships beyond traditional financial institutions. Partnering with fintech companies that target underserved communities with innovative financial technologies is one way the cooperative is doing this. To learn more about the role of fintech in social impact investing, and more specifically in India, we spoke with Arun Nayyar, the CEO of Oikocredit partner NeoGrowth. full story

Oikocredit’s equity investment supports India’s agriculture value chain

Origo 1.jpegOctober 01 | 2018 Oikocredit has made an equity investment in Origo Commodities, a company which provides post-harvest agriculture supply chain financing and logistics solutions across 12 Indian states to over 3,500 clients, including more than 1,400 farmers. full story

Oikocredit signs Fair Trade Charter to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals

RAh__k9A.pngSeptember 25 | 2018 Today, Oikocredit joined more than 250 organisations around the world in launching an International Fair Trade Charter which sets down the fundamental values of Fair Trade and defines a common vision toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). full story

Oikocredit invests in Brazilian FinTech Avante to support one million micro-entrepreneurs by 2021

Avante photo.pngSeptember 06 | 2018 Oikocredit welcomes Avante, a Brazilian FinTech that empowers micro-entrepreneurs through financial technology, to its growing FinTech portfolio. full story

Oikocredit’s first off-grid solar project in Latin America to support 250,000 people

Kingo27 (1).jpgSeptember 05 | 2018 Together with Dutch development bank FMO, Oikocredit invested in Kingo, an off-grid energy supplier, to help them expand to rural areas in Guatemala. full story

Equity investment to improve lives in El Salvador

ENL-SV-17.jpgAugust 29 | 2018 “Quitting my job at the factory was a good decision. We make a profit of US$ 300 a week…when I worked in the factory I earned US$ 60 a week.” full story

Rising to the coffee challenge: high yields, high quality and environmental sustainability

Wilson Olivera, President of Cenfrocafe (left), and Ronny García, Cenfrocafe CEO (right).August 22 | 2018 “It’s not easy to grow in a sustainable way”, says Wilson Olivera, President of Peruvian coffee cooperative Central Fronteriza del Norte de Cafetaleros (Cenfrocafe). full story

The Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance releases ‘State of the Sector’ report

CSAF2018-cover.jpgAugust 08 | 2018 Oikocredit is a member of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), which just published its annual ‘State of the Sector’ report. full story

Oikocredit article on home solar and microfinance published on NextBillion

REblog.JPGJuly 26 | 2018 NextBillion published Oikocredit’s Renewable Energy Investment Officer, Mark Roesink’s article ‘Home Solar+Microfinance: Mitigating Risks and Maximising Rewards.’ full story

Going above and beyond: Oikocredit’s Social and Environmental Performance Report [Interview]

Ging Ledesma, Oikocredit’s Investor Relations and Social Performance DirectorJuly 17 | 2018 Oikocredit just published its latest Social and Environmental Performance Report (SEPR) showing that the worldwide cooperative surpasses the sector average for outreach to female clients. To learn more about this and other highlights in the report, and to gain a better understanding of why Oikocredit reports on its social and environmental performance, we spoke with Ging Ledesma, Oikocredit’s Investor Relations and Social Performance Director. full story

Oikocredit surpasses sector average for outreach to female microfinance clients

MIEL-MX-30.jpgJuly 12 | 2018 Today Oikocredit published its latest Social and Environmental Performance Report (SEPR) which shows that nearly 90% of clients reached by the microfinance organisations Oikocredit invests in are women, compared to the sector average of 70%. full story

Oikocredit annual general meeting takes place in India

electronic voting AGM 2018June 22 | 2018 Last week, Oikocredit’s annual general meeting took place in Chennai, India. full story

Oikocredit signs new guidelines on responsible digital financial inclusion

Bart-van-Eyk-web.jpgJune 20 | 2018 Oikocredit joined over 50 fintech investors and innovators to develop guidelines aimed at spreading the benefits of the digital financial services revolution more widely. full story

Join us in cities across Europe for a taste of Fapecafes fair trade coffee

FAPE-EC-30.jpgJune 11 | 2018 Oikocredit’s annual European road show kicks off 18 June in Berlin and will travel to various cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. full story

Getting together for sustainable coffee in June

COOT-CR-78.jpgJune 06 | 2018 Anyone for sustainably sourced coffee? You can get a taste of Oikocredit’s collaborative efforts in the sustainable coffee sector by following our coffee-themed updates which we will share with you throughout June. full story

Thos Gieskes: why we’ve updated our strategy and how we’re aiming for more impact [interview]

Thos Gieskes.jpgMay 24 | 2018 Last month we announced our financial results and introduced Oikocredit’s updated strategy. Our Managing Director Thos Gieskes shares more details on what’s different about the new approach, why focus is so important, and how social impact remains at Oikocredit’s heart. full story

A cool head and a warm heart: how to produce organic and fair trade honey [partner story]

MIEL-MX-23.jpgMay 11 | 2018 There's lots that we can learn from bees: alternative ways of working, serving the community and sharing. We talked to Luis Enrique Castañón Chavarría, Managing Director of Oikocredit’s fair trade and organic partner Miel Mexicana, about how bees cooperate, the beekeeping industry and its international customers. full story

Oikocredit invests € 1 million in renewable energy company Inyenyeri

Inyenyeri photo 3.jpgMay 02 | 2018 Today Oikocredit and Inyenyeri announced the € 1 million loan investment at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, Portugal. full story

E-Hands: solar energy for India’s unbanked  

Solar for rural bank - Bamraha,  Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.jpgApril 26 | 2018 In India, some 270 million people, a fifth of the population, lack access to electricity1. Some 90% of the country’s off-grid communities are based in remote, rural areas, with many households ... full story

Oikocredit Annual Report and press release highlighting 2017

ar18-v1.jpgApril 11 | 2018 Today Oikocredit published its annual report and press release for its 2017 financial results. full story

Enhancing coffee cooperatives’ price risk management

IMG_8949.jpgMarch 29 | 2018 From 21 February to 1 March, Oikocredit held two workshops in the Peruvian city of Jaén on price risk management (PRM) for coffee cooperatives in Peru and Colombia. full story

“Oikocredit is a frontrunner”: getting to know our director of risk

Laura Pool, director of risk at Oikocredit.jpgFebruary 28 | 2018 In December 2017, Oikocredit welcomed Laura Pool as our new director of risk and member of our managing board. We spoke to Laura about risk management, her passions and why she chose Oikocredit. full story

India summit: Putting people before profit by transforming the financial sector

ESA-IN-17.jpgFebruary 22 | 2018 Oikocredit and Maanaveeya, an Indian subsidiary of Oikocredit, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) are to co-host a summit on 23 February 2018 in Hyderabad, India to highlight the opportunities for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to become small finance banks (SFBs) whilst remaining true to their social mission. The event brings together representatives from 15 financial institutions/stakeholders across India. full story

Coffee for generations: Colombian coffee farmers’ perseverance and environmental care

RED-CO-51.jpgFebruary 19 | 2018 Oikocredit partner organisation Red Ecolsierra has enabled coffee farmers in Colombia to receive fair prices and increase the quality and quantity of production despite the violence and unrest that filled the region for decades. full story

Local presence is our strong point

Maria photo.jpgFebruary 08 | 2018 Maria Koramoa heads Oikocredit's country office in Accra, Ghana's capital, and is the deputy head of Oikocredit West Africa. As a financial expert, Maria has studied economics, sociology and education in Birmingham and the Cape Coast. She is specialised in microfinance and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. During a Skype call, Maria shared some insights into her work. full story

Oikocredit and African Guarantee Fund sign new agreement to finance SMEs

AGF and Oikocredit 5January 29 | 2018 On 25 January, Oikocredit signed a new agreement with African Guarantee Fund (AGF) to boost financing to microfinance institutions and agricultural and renewable energy SMEs in Africa. The signing... full story

A sweet deal in southern Colombia

CONT-CO-47.jpgJanuary 24 | 2018 When it comes to committing to a business, there’s no doubting sugar cane farmer Pedro Bastidas. When asked about the development of his enterprise, he casually states: “In 2005, I exchanged my house for a sugar factory.” full story

Video: Support for women coffee growers in Brazil

CPFAM-BR-09.jpgJanuary 12 | 2018 Oikocredit partner Cooperativa dos Agricultores Familiares de Poço Fundo e Região (Coopfam) is a Brazilian coffee cooperative which is helping to empower women by supporting the production of a ... full story

Oikocredit Across Continents

Viviana and Zion.jpgDecember 07 | 2017 Katharina Welp, communications officer at Oikocredit’s support association North East Germany in Berlin, completed a one-week exchange visit to Oikocredit’s head office in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. She met up with two colleagues from Oikocredit’s regional offices who were also in Amersfoort for an exchange. full story

‘Banking on women’: empowering Kenyan women through microfinance

KWFT-Grace.jpgNovember 28 | 2017 “In Africa, there is nothing as important as empowering a woman. When you empower a woman, it’s as if you are empowering the whole country. KWFT is empowering me with education, with knowledge and with money.” full story

How women coffee farmers in Brazil are building economic independence

Dayany de Assis dos Santos Ferreira.jpgNovember 17 | 2017 The Coopfam (Cooperativa dos Agricultores Familiares de Poço Fundo e Região) coffee cooperative is empowering women to produce a speciality organic coffee and improve their livelihoods full story

Microfinance in action: Kick-starting a table football business

BancoPymedelaComunidad.jpgNovember 07 | 2017 Oikocredit’s longstanding partnership with Banco Pyme de la Comunidad is enabling micro-entrepreneurs in Bolivia to build flourishing, sustainable businesses full story

Oikocredit’s new forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue

Ueli Burkhalter 20162.jpgOctober 30 | 2017 Pastor Ueli Burkhalter is the seventh member of Oikocredit’s recently formed members' council (MC). The MC is a consultation and advisory body elected by Oikocredit’s member organisations to ... full story

“Together, we are a movement.’’ Thos Gieskes’ first months at Oikocredit [interview]

Thos Gieskes.jpgOctober 19 | 2017 We caught up with Oikocredit’s managing director, Thos Gieskes, to hear about his first months at the global cooperative. In the interview, he talks about some of Oikocredit’s strengths and challenges along with insights from his journey in getting to know the ins and outs of the organisation. full story

Get in touch

Oikocredit Canada Support Association
c/o Centre for Social Innovation
192 Spadina Avenue
Toronto ON M5T 2C7
workT: 1-647-546-2393