Oikocredit – originally called the Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society – was officially founded in 1975 by the World Council of Churches. It was formed as a global cooperative based in the Netherlands. This inclusive, cooperative approach appealed to the founders who sought active involvement as investors. Their other guiding principle was and remains key: investments should reflect the social justice values of Oikocredit and its investors. This principle was fueled by their decision to divest from companies that profited from the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa.