Oikocredit is pleased to announce Rosalind Copisarow has accepted the role as new managing director, and will officially assume responsibilities as of July 1 this year.
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 in the UK.
Ms Copisarow founded Fundusz Mikro, the first microfinance institution in Poland in 1994. The organisation went on to serve more than 35,000 clients, was valued at £31 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). IDE is a development organization that works to empower subsistence farmers with irrigation equipment to access water in the dry season and support clients with training, seed, fertilizer and other input to increase crop production. The organisation also supports the processing, packaging, transporting and sale of produce to agribusiness buyers.
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. "I don't feel I would have been qualified for this role if I hadn't worked in the fields of commercial banking, microfinance and social enterprises," she said. "I certainly wouldn't have been qualified if I hadn't spent significant personal time with the end clients, learning from them how we can improve the quality of their lives and support them in moving out of poverty."
Ms Copisarow's capabilities and commitment will ensure the continuity of Oikocredit's social mission and unique approach to investing in people. "I don't think I've ever seen an organisation with such total and utter 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."
The Oikocredit board is extremely grateful to current managing director Tor G. Gull for developing Oikocredit into the sustainable social investor it is today. Oikocredit's reputation was strengthened and continuously represented by Mr Gull over his ten years of leadership. "The organisation's increased focus on transparency and social orientation of fair finance has been propelled by Mr Gull's tenacity and passion for financial inclusion," said Oikocredit Board President, Fidon Mwombeki. "We are thankful to have found someone with the same qualities."
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