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.
Apr 7, 2011

Savings Accounts Create Change in Malawi

Grace Msowoya, Opportunity client
Grace Msowoya, Opportunity client

In Blantyre, Malawi, dozens of women sell potatoes in the marketplace. But Grace Msowoya and her business partner Betty Louhana stand out. Frustrated by their small profit margins, they became the first women to take the bold move of becoming distributors themselves. Every two weeks, they withdraw money from their Opportunity savings to rent a truck. They hire a driver and spend several days on the road to get potatoes directly from farmers, which they then sell to other vendors.

Before Grace became an Opportunity International client in 2007, she kept her hard-earned money hidden in her home. Now, she and Betty are earning interest on nearly $2,000 in a joint savings account. With her biometric-enabled card she can safely deposit and easily access her money at the Opportunity banking kiosk, just 100 meters from her business.
Grace and Betty’s courage has paid off. They have dramatically increased profits and redefined the place of women in the local market. And Grace has already made great strides in a short time as an Opportunity client. She has earned enough money to move her family from two small rooms to a two bedroom home, and all three of her children attend school.
For more information on Opportunity International's "Banking on Women" Campaign, and how others are reacting, visit:

Links:

Apr 1, 2011

Microfinance Rebuilds Lives after Flooding

 

In January, many people in the Philippines were devastated by the effects of relentless flooding. In the aftermath, survivors of this disaster are faced with the overwhelming task of rebuilding their lives. Microfinance empowers families to recover from tragedy and reshape their futures by offering simple solutions such as savings accounts, microloans to rebuild businesses, and the training needed to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to manage a business.
Opportunity currently serves more than 740,000 loan clients through nine institutions covering most of the islands of the Philippines. In 2011, Opportunity is working to raise funds for Opportunity Kauswagan Bank (OK Bank). OK Bank is currently serving 34,000 loan clients and 41,500 savings clients from a number of service locations throughout the country. 

Links:

Mar 31, 2011

A Life Transformed in Tanzania

 

Here is an update of one of our clients in Tanzania. Her story can be found at the Opportunity International website as well. 
Sharifa Undi is an Opportunity Tanzania client and part of the Umoja B Trust Group. She operates a small shop in the Kimara Resort neighborhood of Dar es Salaam selling cereals, cooking oil and drinks. Sharifa started her business in 2006, became an Opportunity Tanzania client in 2009 and is now on her second loan cycle. She is proud that her business has now more than doubled in size. Sharifa plans to use her second loan for working capital for her business and to invest in a sewing machine for her daughter, who recently finished vocational training and is a skilled tailor. 
Sharifa is married and has six children ranging in age from 12 to 28. In the future, she hopes to earn enough to afford private secondary schools for her two youngest children, to continue to expand her business, and ultimately, her dream is to be able to support her children in their own business ventures. Sharifa says she is very grateful that she has been able to access loans from Opportunity Tanzania. 

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