Opportunity International

Our mission is to provide opportunities for people in chronic poverty to transform their lives. Our strategy is to create jobs, stimulate small businesses and strengthen communities among the poor. Our method is to work through sustainable local microfinance institutions that provide small business loans, savings, insurance and training. Our commitment is motivated by Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor. Our core values are respect, commitment to the poor, integrity and stewardship.
Aug 6, 2013

Maria Fanny Martinez is unstoppable.

Maria at her seamstress shop
Maria at her seamstress shop

This is Maria Fanny Martinez. She was forced to leave her home country of Columbia along with all of her family and friends she had there because she could not find employment there. She moved to Venezuela where she worked in a sweatshop for several years. After working at the clothing factory for a long time she became a skilled seamstress. She told her daughter to come to Venezuela to work at the factory alongside her and learn to be a seamstress too.

With Maria and her daughter’s newly acquired skills, they moved back to Columbia. They took out a loan from Opportunity International for $2000 and used it to start up their own seamstress shop in Columbia. Today, both Maria and her daughter make a comfortable living doing contract work for large clothing companies. On top of that, Maria formed a trust group called the Unofficial Seamstress Organization. The group is made up of several seamstresses from the area. Whenever one of the member’s businesses is doing poorly, the other members of the group come together to help that person out.

The loans Maria and her daughter received from Opportunity International have not only improved the quality of their own lives, the loans have gone towards helping other women in the area as well. Maria’s story is an example of how the loans given out by Opportunity international not only help the clients they are given to, they help other members of the community, and help to make the whole country more sustainable. Maria is very happy with her life now. She feels good about her accomplishments and happy to be living again in Columbia. 

We want to thank you for your contributions to Opportunity International. Donors like you allow us to improve the lives of people living in the developing world. Your contributions have made a difference in the lives of many.

Aug 6, 2013

One Loan Changes the Lives of Many

Deepa teaching others to make jewlery
Deepa teaching others to make jewlery

Meet Opportunity Loan Client, Deepa. Deepa is a jewelry maker living in Chennai, India.

Deepa comes from a marginalized gypsy community in an unhealthy living environment. Before joining Opportunity, Deepa used to collect and sell waste paper, earning less than $2 a day.She felt stuck in poverty until she heard about Opportunity International's banking services. She was able to secure her first loan of US $55 from Opportunity and purchased plastic Tiffin boxes to sell in the market, which still netted her a meager income. So she decided to take out a second loan of US $146. WIth the loan, she bought materials to create necklaces that she sold at the local market for a good price. For the first time in her life, she was able to make a sustainable living.  

The gypsy women in Deepa’s community noticed her success and asked her for her help. She taught them how to make the beautiful necklaces and gave them advice on selling them.The women became Opportunity clients too and took out loans of their own. 

Now, every Friday, the entire community gathers at the market to sell their products, working as a team. This is how just one loan can make the difference in a community. It empowers women to make a sustaibable living and teach others who are struggling in their community to do the same. Your contributions to Opportunity International have helped to lift communties out of the debiliating cycle of poverty. 

Aug 6, 2013

Over 30 Years of Empowering Entrepreneurs


The Philippines is a country of tremendous diversity of languages, religions and cultures. Thirty percent of its 95 million people live in dire poverty. While the country has made great strides in development, 60% of the population is still employed in the informal economy, running small businesses not recognized by the government and eking out a living day to day. These are the people who need microfinance.

Opportunity International started operations in Manila in 1981, and currently serves more than 740,000 loan clients through nine institutions covering most of the islands of the Philippines. Opportunity International is currently serving 34,000 loan clients and 41,500 savings clients from a number of service locations throughout the Philippines.

Meet Concepcion, one of Opportunity’s loan clients in the Philippines. 


Partnering with Opportunity has enabled Concepcion to transform her life and she is so thankful for the chance to make things better for her family. Now in her seventh loan cycle with Opportunity, she has gone from creating ceramic artwork alone in a small shop, to employing seven other people from her community to make pieces that she exports to Australia and the United States.

The business training Concepcion received from Opportunity helped her make this change, and she believes in passing on her knowledge to help others in her community by giving them advice and support. Her three children are all in school, and her eldest will soon graduate from college with a degree in psychology. Concepcion uses her business profits to take care of her children, her parents, to continue growing her business, and to save for the future. Her next goal is to purchase a storefront so that she no longer has to rent her workspace.

We’re proud to come alongside her to help her achieve her goals. Your contributions to Opportunity have empowered women all over the Philippines, just like Concepcion. With your support, we are able to continue helping people in the Philippines begin to make a sustainable living and support their communities. Your donation has provided a more secure future for many!

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