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

Colony in India is Capitalizing on Opportunity

Member of Opportunity's Womens Opportunity Network, Julie Hindmarsh, recently visited a leprosy colony in India. Having strong ties to their families, the women Julie visited have all opted to stay in this colony and start their own businesses, many making candles. These women comprise a Trust Group called Sigaram (translated, "Mountain Peak") and joined with Opportunity to work on building self-confidence in a male-dominated society. Before receiving loans from Opportunity International, they had to ask their husbands for money, and were often turned down. Because of the Trust Group they are all now a part of, they are members of a goal-driven group of women seeking to increase their quality of life for themselves and future generations. 

To find out more about this Trust Group and their work, visit: 

Links:

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. 

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