Inaugural Microfinance Summit in D.C. Celebrates Global Impact of Socially Responsible Investing

Sep 05, 2013, 05:00 ET from Oikocredit

U.S. Investors Committed $3.8 Million to Global Economic Development Projects in 2013

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oikocredit, one of the world's largest private financiers of the microfinance sector, kicks off its first-ever USA summit in Washington, D.C., today. The event, Oikocredit USA Summit 2013: Investing in People, Empowering Communities, convenes investors from across the nation and stakeholders from around the world to demonstrate how investor dollars are strengthening families, villages and the planet.

The two-day event features a varied lineup of speakers, including:

  • Timothy Bradley, anti-human trafficking expert and founding member of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission's Human Trafficking Advisory Committee;
  • Ched Myers, theologian and social activist;
  • Cheryl Smith, managing partner at Trillium Asset Management, which is the oldest independent investment advisor devoted exclusively to sustainable and responsible investing; and
  • Mariam Dao, representative of Oikocredit in West Africa.

"Social investing starts with socially conscious individuals. They are at the heart of Oikocredit's mission," said Sharlene Brown, national director of Oikocredit USA. "This inaugural summit for our investors serves as a means to celebrate the impact that their investments have made around the globe while providing educational opportunities to learn about the latest trends in social investing and development finance."

In addition, tonight's inaugural Investor Inspirations Award Ceremony will honor the following recipients:

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation — winners of the Oikocredit USA Founding Member Award;
  • East Liberty Presbyterian Church — winner of the Faith and Global Justice Award;
  • Adrian Dominican Sisters — winner of the Orders of World Service Award; and
  • Joyce Erickson — winner of the Mary and Bill Pardee Service Award.

As one of the largest private funders of microfinance efforts, local cooperatives and fair trade organizations, Oikocredit supports more than 850 project partners in 67 of the world's poorest countries. The U.S. arm of Oikocredit raises investment capital from churches and individuals around the nation that are committed to Oikocredit's mission of financial inclusion and poverty alleviation. In contrast to today's common financial models, Oikocredit is guided by its nearly 600 voting members — representing mostly faith-based organizations from Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia — who help determine which efforts to support and decide on the financial return distributed to investors.

For more information about Oikocredit USA and the Oikocredit USA Summit 2013: Investing in People, Empowering Communities event, visit

Oikocredit USA is the U.S. arm of Oikocredit, a worldwide financial cooperative headquartered in Amersfoort, Netherlands, that manages a social investment portfolio of close to $1 billion. The U.S. office connects U.S.-based investors with disadvantaged populations around the world by raising social investment capital to provide financial opportunities that strengthen families and communities. Oikocredit USA raises capital from faith institutions and individuals around the nation who are committed to its mission of social justice, economic empowerment and poverty alleviation. Oikocredit pools that capital with that of other social investors around the world and invests it in more than 850 microfinance partners, local cooperatives and fair trade organizations in 67 countries around the world. As one of the largest private funders of these efforts, Oikocredit offers investors a steady 2 percent return, the engagement that comes with a cooperative culture and the knowledge that their dollars are making a difference.

SOURCE Oikocredit