Use of cookies

This site uses cookies that help track your browsing activity for statistical reporting. The information collected does not identify in any way, the user or any other private information. If continue to browse, we consider accepting use.
To collect this anonymous information the Company uses the Google Analytics tool, owned by Google. You can find the privacy policy of Google Analytics on Google's privacy center and disabling the supplement Google Analytics.

     
Español     Home

Blog

News tagged as "performance"
April 6, 2015

Oikocredit records solid financial results while preparing for its 40th anniversary

Tags: microfinance, Oikocredit, financial and social performance | by David Díaz de Quijano i Barbero.

In 2014 Oikocredit recorded a net consolidated result of € 17.1 million, up from 2013 €13.4 million in 2013, which entails an increase of 28% over the previous year, and is a great motivation for adding up to the celebration of the organization's 40th anniversary this coming year. 

Oikocredit managing director, Mr David Woods, said the results were testament to a sound business model that balances social, environmental and financial goals. “In 2014 we were well positioned to diversify into new sectors as well as strengthen our operations which in turn lowered our risk profile,” said Mr Woods.

With a portfolio of 805 partner organizations across 63 countries, Oikocredit continued its strategic investment focus on inclusive finance, agriculture and renewable energy in 2014, that according to Woods generated immediate results. Furthermore he added that a "plus" approach was taken to development financing to provide the partner organizations with resources to responsibly grow their businesses. 

In the last 40 years Oikocredit has financed 1.670 MFIs and social enterprises and disbursed €2100 millions in development financing, of which more than half have been disbursed in the last 5 years. It is precisely the observation of the behaviour of last year's growth tendencies what motivated Mr. Woods to point out that “In the next five years we see ourselves as being the most socially responsible impact investor in the world, with a true mix of social, environmental and financial goals" and to add that social performance would remain a priority, with a focus on impact studies to assess the long-term benefits of social financing, while staying true to our social mission. 

Read here the full press release on Oikocredit's 2014 financial results>

October 30, 2013

Celebrating the Fourth meeting of the Spanish Microfinance Network

Tags: microfinance, Spain, remEX, strategic planning, performance | by Verónica López Sabater

The IV annual meeting of the Spanish  Microfinance Network (remEX) took place last Wednesday, October 23th. It was the first time this year that all members and observators could meet face to face.

Besides being a pleasure to have the opportunity to share physical space and time with remEX members and observers, we had the chance of discussing for about three hours the issues that we all had agreed to discuss:

  • review of the strategic plan,
  • presentation of the network's performance indicators,
  • presentation of this year's activity of the 4 working groups, and
  • expectations and challenges for 2014 , among which includes greater dissemination of the knowledge generated within existing working groups.

 

In this occasion, Afi's School of Applied Finance Afi allowed us to occupy their facilities to accommodate the 23 members and 8 observers who today form the remEX, many of whom had to travel from across the country to attend the meeting.

The next meeting will take place in the first half of 2014 .

February 21, 2013

Do not miss out on microfinance´s opportunity

Tags: microfinance, social performance, responsible finance | by Mª Jesús Pérez, Deputy Director. Department of Research, Social Innovation and Services. Codespa Foundation

Over the last few decades, we have witnessed the impressive expansion of microfinance. This is primarily the result of two main guiding principles: the creation of entities and institutions specialized in providing microfinance services and the creation of sustainable entities.

In just a few years, this has led to a consolidated industry in which thousands of sustainable institutions provide services to more than 150 million people. In practice, among these entities providing microfinance services, two different approaches can be found, depending on their mission.

- A first approach would include those entities that conceive microfinance as a financial tool for development. Its ultimate goal is to eradicate poverty by promoting development and enabling financial inclusion of poor people. Hence, its success stems from the improvement of their client´s socio-economic situation.

- A second approach would include entities for which microfinance represents a means for entering into new markets and expanding the conventional financial sector, according to the same principles that govern conventional banking: profitability and efficiency. The key to its legitimate success lies in generating economic benefits from microfinance activities, which may be translated into social benefits.

Both approaches may have a common goal: create efficient and sustainable entities that provide access to financial services for people with no income or means. Moreover, both of them play a specific role in social development, even though their goals and results may differ from one to another. 

 

 

The main problem is that just a few microfinance entities, regardless of their approach, demonstrate social returns with reliable evidence. Moreover, the diversity of entities and approaches leads to confusion about the usefulness of microfinance as a powerful tool against poverty.

Some entities do generate social impact; nevertheless, they don’t know how to measure it. Others, concerned about obtaining large economic benefits, neglect the social dimension. In addition, the panorama gets more complicated when entities that are supposedly focused on assisting poor people  adopt abusive and irresponsible practices, being even more outrageous when those lead to a disproportionate profit for the entity. As a result of this, the whole sector is damaged by a series of bad practices that may be used as an argument against it as a whole; even against entities that do an exceptional work.

Lack of reliable information and evidence about social returns makes it harder to discern between some and others. This causes a terrible damage to the reputation of the whole sector, jeopardizing the usefulness of microfinance as a potential tool for socio-economic inclusion of millions of low-income families. Something must be done.  

Given this scenario, microfinance entities have, however, the opportunity to objectively report on their real social impacts. And this one represents a main aspect to ensure sustainability within the whole sector. There have been —and there still are— many international efforts in order to define universal standards for social performance management, which will allow to compare institutions’ social objectives with their actual results. These standards, together with social performance indicators, may help to ensure transparency regarding true social achievements within the microfinance sector. Because of its social background and closeness to poverty, microfinance has a large potential for becoming a model of financial industry capable of generating an inclusive and socially responsible development.

Whilst many banks seek to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to demonstrate their deep concern about financial exclusion, microfinance has the advantage that its core business is, indeed, that of inclusion. As long as microfinance entities are able to demonstrate social responsibility and extended social value creation, they will be, without any doubt, a model of industry to follow. However, we need to put more efforts into measuring and managing both social and economic returns if we do not want that microfinance misses out on its opportunity.

Initiative financed by: Initiative financed by AECID
2019 © remEX - red española de microfinanzas en el exterior. All rights reserved.