Rosalind Copisarow Starts as Oikocredit Managing Director

By Oikocredit, PRNE
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AMERSFOORT, Netherlands, June 30, 2011 -

Rosalind Copisarow
is taking the reins as
s new managing director, officially
assuming responsibilities from Tor G. Gull

     (Photo:  href=""> )

Ms Copisarow brings a unique mix of experience to Oikocredit; 15
years as a blue chip investment banker, followed by 13 years of
building up new microfinance institutions and a further three years
heading social enterprises.

Ms Copisarow founded Fundusz Mikro, the first microfinance
institution in Poland in 1994. The organization went on to serve
more than 35,000 clients, was valued at € 35 million and became
financially sustainable in 1999. She left to embrace a new
challenge the following year with Street UK - a UK-based microloan
programme, now national and self-financing.

Later, Ms Copisarow held positions as senior vice president of
international microfinance organization ACCION, and then as chief
executive of International Development Enterprises UK (IDE), a
development organization that works to empower subsistence

A UK national, Ms Copisarow is a social entrepreneur whose most
recent venture, Constellation Communities, aims to enable slum
residents to acquire their own home through a package of housing
products and support services that include microfinance.

“Successful social development lies with multiple approaches,”
says Ms Copisarow. “A combination of support for microfinance,
cooperatives and small and medium enterprises will drive a healthy
sustainable development sector.”

“I think the expectations of microfinance were too high. It
isn’t a panacea to poverty alleviation but it is a very important,
effective tool to help people out of poverty. We need to understand
what it can and cannot do, so we can fill the gaps,” she said. “One
big agenda item is the lack of access to markets. Customers who
borrow money to make more baskets are not going to be helped if
there’s no one to buy the extra baskets. Support for a diversity of
sectors is essential.”

Presently, Oikocredit’s portfolio is split between microfinance
institutions, cooperatives and small to medium enterprises. “I
don’t think I’ve ever seen an organization with such a depth of
commitment to its mission as Oikocredit,” she said. “It’s about
knowing what we’re trying to achieve and pursuing our ultimate goal
with our whole heart. And that goal is to create a just world of
equal opportunity and human dignity for all.”

Ms Copisarow’s capabilities and commitment will ensure the
continuity of Oikocredit’s social mission and unique approach to
investing in people.


Oikocredit is a social investor and worldwide cooperative that
promotes global justice by empowering disadvantaged people with
credit. Since 1975, Oikocredit has offered loans and investment
capital to microfinance institutions, cooperatives, fair trade and
other businesses. Today, Oikocredit has 863 project partners in
more than 70 countries. For more information, visit

Press contact Oikocredit International: Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, kziedsesdesplantes at, +31(0)6-272-549-04. Press contact Oikocredit USA: Terry Provance, usa at, +1-202-728-41-40; Press contact Oikocredit UK & Ireland: Patrick Hynes, uk at, +44(0)1995-602806

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