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.
Nov 9, 2011

Activity Highlights

Opportunity South Africa serves 4,380 clients from five branches, a growth of 5% from 2010 year end, with a $6.4 million loan portfolio. Small and Medium Enterprise business loans and training are the backbone of our clients’ success in South Africa. Loans are disbursed individually rather than in groups and clients receive services that fit their small business’ needs. Loan officers provide extensive training to increase skills in financial literacy, business development, budgeting, marketing and planning. Opportunity South Africa is introducing credit life insurance to clients and their family members this year. 

Nov 6, 2011

Technology to Meet the Needs of Small Farmers

We are customizing our financial products to meet the needs of small-scale farmers  

Opportunity’s growing footprint of service points is bringing banking to the families we seek to serve. In the first half of 2011, Opportunity’s banks in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique and Rwanda increased their combined access points to 314, many of which are in rural regions and are enabling previously unbanked communities, like cocoa farmers in Ghana, to finally access the financial tools they need.

We are leveraging technology to reach the most marginalized families in rural regions

Mobile bank vehicles, cell phone banking, ATMs and point of sale devices allow Opportunity to deliver customized services virtually anywhere, enabling us to extend our reach to rural and remote areas with efficiency and affordability. Increased delivery channels means improved access for thousands of families. Opportunity Ghana has brought the bank to the doorstep of rural poor families with two mobile banks and have issued biometric smart cards making it possible for clients to access their accounts within their local markets and shops. In addition, Opportunity Ghana has also implemented cell phone banking, allowing clients to conduct transactions right from their business or home. 

Nov 4, 2011

Country Highlights

Uganda

Opportunity Uganda finished 2010 with 66 active school loan clients and 91 schools served over the span of the program.  For 2011 Uganda has plans to grow the number of school loans to 156 and the number of student loans to 9,193. In 2010, Opportunity Uganda also:

  • Served 3,840 clients with school fee loans totaling $652,800.  
  • Deepened its presence in the urban and peri-urban centers areas of Uganda. 
  • Trained 92 participants in workshop throughout 2010 covering topics such as entrepreneurship, business planning, financial management and marketing.  

 

Ghana

After a slow start to the year Opportunity Ghana finished 2010 strong with 165 school loan clients and 233 schools served over the span of the program.  In the first quarter of 2010, lending in Ghana was put on hold to allow management to rectify an increase in the portfolio at risk (PAR) in the Education Finance portfolio.  Leadership addressed the issue by revising the Credit Policy Guide and Credit Manual. Additionally, Opportunity Ghana:

  • Conducted a training seminar in July for 20 loan officers and branch managers on lending and credit risk management for Education Finance and small business loans.
  • Increased loan repayment significantly by the end of 2010, a marked improvement in the quality of the Education Finance portfolio. 
  • Approved a plan to market Education Finance in twelve of the eighteen bank branches in Ghana, doubling the outreach of the program.
  • Projected to reach a total of 258 active school loans with a portfolio of $740,000 by the end of 2011.  

 

The IDP Rising Schools Program is operating successfully and has disbursed loans to 38 schools, impacting 26,794 students. The team has built a library of detailed training curriculum modules that targets school proprietors, teachers and caterers. During the initial phase of the program, IDP Foundation, Inc. estimates 120 proprietors and caterers will be trained, 1,200 teachers will be trained and 31,080 students will be impacted.  In 2010, the IDP Rising School Program:

  • Continued to implement and expand the loan, research, and community development components of the program.
  • Customized financial services with capacity-building services to develop proprietors’ abilities to manage and develop their small neighborhood schools. 
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