TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- Oikocredit Canada, the Canadian arm of Oikocredit, one of the world's largest sources of private funding to the microfinance sector, has joined the Social Investment Organization. It is the first microfinance investor to become an SIO associate member.
Oikocredit has a long history in Canada through three support associations, which harness the efforts of volunteers to raise awareness about how microfinance provides development opportunities for disadvantaged people around the world. The support associations, based in Western Canada, Central Canada and Atlantic Canada, are not-for-profit organizations that offer investment opportunities through bonds and co-operative shares.
In January, Oikocredit International, based in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, opened a Canadian national support office in Toronto. It appointed Eugene Ellmen, former executive director of the Social Investment Organization, as its first National Director in Canada.
"Oikocredit prides itself as an organization committed to combatting poverty by improving the lives and economic conditions of people around the world," said Eugene Ellmen. "As a socially responsible investor, we are pleased to be a new member of the Social Investment Organization, and we look forward to working with our colleagues in other sectors of the industry to broaden the reach of SRI in Canada."
Oikocredit provides credit and equity to small businesses through microfinance institutions across the developing world and directly to trade cooperatives, fair trade organizations and small-to-medium sized enterprises. At December 31, 2012, Oikocredit had a total of EUR 723 million (CAD $952 million) of assets under management.
The Social Investment Organization (SIO) is a national membership-based organization that includes financial institutions, investment firms, financial advisors, and various organizations and individuals interested in socially responsible investment. The SIO's purpose is to promote the practice of sustainable and socially responsible investment in Canada.
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