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.
Jan 8, 2014

Opportunity International is Helping to Rebuild

Capiz, Philippines
Capiz, Philippines

In November, Typhoon Haiyan – one of the worst tropical storms on record – hit the Philippines. The typhoon devastated the island nation, destroying homes and businesses, and affecting more than 13 million people, including five million children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. An estimated 4,000 lives were lost and nearly 4.5 million were displaced. The typhoon also took houses, businesses and loved ones away from thousands of Opportunity clients.

It’s an unimaginably difficult situation for survivors – but Opportunity International is there to help. Microfinance can play a significant role in rebuilding the island nation, by delivering financial support to the most vulnerable. Opportunity immediately created the Philippines Rebuilding Fund to ensure that the individuals and families affected have the financial assistance to recover.

While aid organizations must continue to provide lifesaving services now, we must also think about where survivors will be one year, two years, and five years from now. This fund will give survivors the support they need to reconstruct their homes, restart their businesses and restore their livelihoods. It will provide resources for long-term efforts, including emergency loans and assistance to local partners that help communities regain their economic health. Opportunity has worked in the Philippines since 1981, so we’ll be there assisting recovery every step of the way.

Learn more about the Opportunity Philippines Rebuilding Fund in this MSNBC artcile from December 24, 2013: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/how-rebuild-the-philippines

Donate now to the Rebuilding Fund: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/raise-capital-for-entrepreneurs-in-philippines/.

Jan 8, 2014

Program Update: Fully Funded Project!

With an average income of $2 per day, many Ghanaians struggle against the debilitating effects of chronic poverty and hunger. Opportunity Ghana’s operations began in 1994. Today, we provide nationwide coverage in Ghana with significant operations in all 10 of the country’s regions through 47 branches that serve hardworking grassroots entrepreneurs with an array of microfinance products and services.

In 2005, Opportunity launched its programs in Ghana to offer deposit services and increase outreach to Ghana’s most marginalized rural families and communities. Because of your support we have imrpoved our agricultural loans to help farmers, many of which are women, pay expenses during the growing season.

Through the support of this project, we have raised the funds to map and profile clients’ farms, enabling the bank to customize agricultural lending to provide accurate input levels and funding. Savings accounts and insurance products also help ensure farmers’ food security. The crop focus in Ghana includes cocoa, chili, plantain, citrus and onions.

We are so thankful and appreciative of your support which has enabled this project to be fully funded. Until we develop another project focused on Ghana, we will be rolling over all recurring donations to a broader project called Banking on Africa (#7660). This new project focuses on providing financial services to the poorest of the poor in Africa many of which are rural farmers. Please contact us at getinfo@opportunity.org with any questions regarding the ending of this project. Thank you again. 

Jan 7, 2014

Program Update: Tanzania

Despite growth resulting from gold production and tourism, Tanzania remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Approximately 36 percent of Tanzanians live below the poverty line. Yet the country’s economic potential is unmistakable.

One out of every three Tanzanians is self-employed, indicating a high level of microenterprise activity. Only 20 percent of the population, however, has access to a formal bank within an hour’s walking distance of their home. Recognizing this great need, Opportunity Tanzania, headquartered in Dar es Salaam, was established in 2007 and serves clients through hub branches in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi, and two satellite branches, in Tengeru and Himo.

Opportunity Internationals programs in Tanzania are fundraising to build a regulated bank that will offer savings products and give clients a safe place to save their money, no matter how small the amount.

In addition to individual and Trust Group loans, Opportunity has started offering Solidarity Group loans in Tanzania. These loans are tailored for a growth-oriented enterprise with group sizes of five to 10 entrepreneurs who run medium-sized businesses. Unlike the Trust Group lending model, Solidarity Groups receive larger loans, and clients make monthly loan payments versus weekly.

Only 4 percent of people in rural areas have a bank account and, while 70 percent of Tanzanians earn some income from growing and selling crops, only 1 percent has ever used a loan to buy seeds, tools or fertilizer. The new Agricultural Finance program will empower some of Tanzania’s most marginalized rural communities and will launch in the South Corridor, a region that accounts for the majority of the country’s agricultural activity and has high potential for increased food production.

Opportunity International’s work and expansion in Tanzania offers hope to people who have never before had access to formal financial services.

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