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 7, 2014

Rural Outreach Update in Africa

In the developing world, people living in rural and remote areas are not only the most impoverished but also the least likely to have access to financial services, especially when the nearest financial institution may be hours—or even days—away. In response to this challenge, Opportunity International brings financial services to where our clients live and work, no matter the distance.

Opportunity International is addressing the financial needs of isolated rural communities through innovative technologies and an expanding network of banks. Our client-facing technologies provide convenient financial access, allowing impoverished people to quickly access their funds so they can focus on generating income and achieving their financial goals. These groundbreaking client services equip Opportunity International banks to reach more people outside of urban centers—and at a lower cost through increasingly cashless and paperless processes.

Here is a program and product update on our rural expansion work in Africa. 

  • Low-Cost Branches: Opportunity deploys hub branches in trade centers and surround them with small, low-cost outlets as spokes that reach surrounding rural communities. New branches are in development worldwide. Whether full service, mobile or satellite kiosk, these banks bring hope through economic opportunity to families who have no other access to financial services.
  • Mobile Banking:  Vans Armored banking vehicles travel bring banking services to rural clients.
  • Agent Banking:  Opportunity installs point-of-sale devices in bank branches, mobile vans and local businesses to allow clients to conveniently bank in a variety of easy-to-reach locations. This extends the reach of the bank without the cost of establishing a full satellite branch.
  • ATMs: These machines enable clients to bank at any time.
  • Cell Phone Banking: Mobile phones are used as a channel for financial information and services, providing clients with banking access anywhere with cellular reception.

Before Opportunity International’s mobile bank came to his town in Mozambique, Lucas Chingore was among the millions of unbanked with little hope of establishing a business. It was a half-day trek to the closest bank and the only loans he could obtain were from unreliable sources that charged high interest. For rural entrepreneurs like Lucas, Opportunity International’s mobile banks make weekly stops within walking distance of their homes and businesses, saving clients valuable time and money.

 

Jan 7, 2014

Program Update: Empowering Women in India

In 1989, Opportunity International began operations in India, home to the largest global concentration of impoverished people. Although regulatory uncertainty in India continues to make loan disbursement difficult, Opportunity India today serves more than 1.4 million clients throughout the country, and disburses 98 percent of its loans to women.

Because of your support we have been able to provide the following financial, products services and training to women in India: 

  • Insurance: Opportunity India partners with our insurance subsidiary, MicroEnsure, to offer health, life and accident insurance.
  • Habitat for Humanity partnership: Opportunity India is developing affordable Housing Loans relevant to the interests and needs of our clients.
  • Empowering and Mentoring: Mentoring designed to educate women on domestic violence awareness, family health and suicide prevention.
  • Community Outreach: Opportunity' s programs in India build strategic alliances to encourage community-wide transformation. For example, through Dia Vikas we address water, sanitation and health issues in partnerships with Healing Fields and Water.org.

With your support, we are meeting the unique needs of the women we serve in India through targeted financial services and products that make a practical, holistic transformation in their daily lives. This project on GlobalGiving has reached its fully funded status!! Thank you for all your help. All recurring donations in existance to this project will be rolled over to a similar Opportunity International program in the Philippines. Please email getinfo@opportunity.org with any questions about this projects closure due to being funded completely! 

Dec 27, 2013

Opportunities for Economic Growth

In this country, roughly the geographical size of Europe and plagued by war, economic instability and corruption, an Opportunity International financial institution can help to make the difference between families being able to afford only three meals per week to families being able to afford three meals per day.

The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have suffered greatly over the past 40 years. Ethnic conflict and a civil war between government troops and rebel groups in Eastern Congo have contributed to high levels of poverty. Only 1 percent of the DRC’s citizens have access to basic financial services. Fortunately, recent economic liberalization has opened up opportunities that will allow sustainable economic growth to gain a foothold.Here are some of the recent accomplishments of our operations in the DRC. 

  • Opportunity DRC plays a critical role in this country's growth process by providing financial services such as loans,savings and training to hardworking entrepreneurs and their families. Opportunity DRC’s operations began in January 2011, giving many microentrepreneurs in the Masina market of Kinshasa their first access to small business capital. We are also the first microfinance provider in the Congo to use biometric fingerprint recognition for clients to access their accounts.
  • In addition to that, we focus heavily on personal growth for staff and clients. The transformation program comprises five modules, covering topics such as family health, nutrition, and disease prevention and control. The training is in Lingala, the local language, and pertinent to life in Kinshasa. Lessons on nutrition, for example, use local food rather than the generic food pyramid.

Thank you for all of your support for our DRC operations since 2011. 24 out of 25 of the worlds poorest countries are in Africa. In order to have the largest impact on this region, we would like to combine this project into a broader "Banking on Africa, 7660" project. This project spans multiple countries including - GhanaKenyaRwandaTanzaniaThe Democratic Republic of CongoMalawiMozambiqueSouth Africa, and Uganda. This project has the same mission and vision of #7928 which is to provide access to financial solutions empowering people living in poverty to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities. If you have any questions about our work in Kenya and the rest of Africa or our decision to combine projects please email us at getinfo@opportunity.org

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