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.
Oct 10, 2011

Meet Elma, an Entrepreneur in the Philippines

Elma Pabliro is a 54 year old mother from Barangay Dakutan, Dumangas, Philippines. She lives a simple life in a small shack together with her husband Carlos and her four kids, Hajie, Bitsy Rose, Ryan, and Aldrin. According to Elma, raisng four children at the same time is very hard. Neither she nor her husband have had any formal education or reached college to gain local employment. Her husband, Carlos, earns a small amount as a carpenter. The amount according to Elma was kept and budgeted to ensure the family could be fed.

Knowing that her husband’s salary was not enough, Elma started mixing pastries and homemade delicacies. She would then carry basketsful to neighbors every afternoon. Despite the high heat and the several kilometer hike, Elma continued to sell her pasteries and homemade foods. She is determinated to provide a better future for her kids. However, due to the increase in the price of sugar and rice, Elma was forced to shut her business down.

Eventually, Elma saw many kids going to town just to buy barbequed meat, hot dogs, chicken feet, and intestines. It was then that she decided to open a barbecue stall. She used her savings from her old business to buy the ingredients and built a grill. She put up her stall near the highway where it would be visible to passers snd sure enough, it was a hit.

Though the business has been doing well, her income isstill sparse. Her capital at that time was only 500 pesos which did not create difference in terms of her income. Elma would like to increase her sales by having additional capital for her business. She plans on expanding her business, not only sell barbecue, but also refreshments.

Aug 18, 2011

John Deere Grant Brings Services to Farmers

Mobile Banks reach clients in remote areas.
Mobile Banks reach clients in remote areas.

Opportunity International has recently received a $2.5 million grant from the John Deere Foundation. This donation supports the Bank on Africa campaign, which aims to bring financial services to farmers and other entrepreneurs in many African countries, including Rwanda.

“Opportunity International is creating a financial services model that is designed to increase the farmer’s chance for success while mitigating his or her personal risk, and is one that goes far beyond just providing agricultural credit,” said John Magnay, Opportunity International’s senior agricultural advisor.He adds that “In addition to providing access to savings accounts and loans, we are working with extension services and output markets, with objectives to improve crop productivity, increase incomes and directly impact the food supply within local communities for enhanced food security.” (Excerpt from http://www.opportunity.org/press-releases/opportunity-international-announces-a-john-deere-foundation-grant-for-its-%e2%80%9cbanking-on-africa%e2%80%9d-initiative/)

In Rwanda, the majority of the population lives in rural areas. Through measures such as these, Opportunity is working to provide these clients, even in the most remote areas, with financial services to enable them to work their way out of poverty.

Links:

Aug 12, 2011

Bank on South Africa

Bank on Africa
Bank on Africa

This summer, Opportunity International has launched the Bank on Africa campaign, designed to bring financial services to Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. At Opportunity International, we are working toward the day when all South Africans can safely deposit their savings, access loans to grow their businesses, and purchase affordable insurance to protect their families- right in their own communities. You won't want to miss this campaign!

To learn more about Opportunity International's Bank on Africa campaign visit www.opportunity.org/africa.

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