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 28, 2013

Opportunity's sustainable solution

Opportunity International is, now more than ever, dedicated to supporting entreprenuers in Africa escape poverty.We have strategically decided to close the project, Empower Mothers in Tanzania with Microloans, and roll it into another project of Opportunity International entitled, Providing Microloans for the Poor in Tanzania (4493). We no longer feel that it is necessary to separate our work in this geography into 2 projects and here is why. 

Our clients are really fledgling entrepreneurs who need basic access to one small loan of $150 to set them on a course that is life transforming.  Opportunity provides access to that loan and to savings, additional small business loans, insurance, and training.  With women clients especially, we know that investing in them has an accelerator effect – they will reinvest in their families and their communities to help build stronger futures for everyone. 

Opportunity International invests, one by one, in over five million clients around the world who dare to dream of lifting themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty.  93% of our clients are women.  With a more than 40-year track record, we know that our sustainable, holistic solution just works.

An incredible 98% of our loans are repaid, and we firmly believe this is because of the services we provide our clients, mostly women and mothers, in addition to loans. We provide leadership training, financial coaching, and education on preventative health, communication skills and family management. We deliver a holistic approach to microfinance that helps our clients grow into true entrepreneurs and community leaders who will ultimately pay it forward.Our work gives people options, a new lifeline, at a time when it may seem there is no way out.

It is for this reason that we not longer feel it is necessary to have a project dedicated to women and mothers and a more general one in the same geography. 

Oct 14, 2013

Your impact on Concepcion and many others like her

Following years of growth in outreach, Opportunity lost some ground in the Philippines in 2012, due to the substantial impact of two typhoons on our clients and lending portfolio. With a healthy portfolio, and every reason to be hopeful about the future in Philippines, we anticipate renewed growth in 2013. With your support we can help more people like Manila businesswoman, Concepcion*, who makes 10 types of ceramics products in her small rented shop. With the help of several Opportunity loans, Concepcion purchased clay, paint and equipment such as a mixing machine and rented a larger shop. She now employs seven workers and produces an inventory of hundreds of products, including delicate bowls, colorful mugs and decorative statuary. She sells her work in boutiques and shopping malls, as well as exports it to the U.S., Australia and Germany. The increased revenue from her business as a result of her loans has allowed Concepcion, her husband, Jesus, and her three children, Christine Joy, Jesse and Charme, to live more comfortably. Christine Joy is currently enrolled in university studying psychology, while Charme will study business management once Christine graduates. Jesse stays at home to help support the family. A few years ago, Concepcion's husband was involved in an accident that left him disabled. The event strengthened the family's resolve to support each other. "Despite my husband's physical condition, we have a successful business," she said. "We pray God will guide us every day." Concepcion pays it forward by sharing her business knowledge with members of her church. She advises them on how to price items and manage a business. She says she is thankful for the blessings God provides her and looks forward to a brighter future. Opportunity International is privileged to work with exceptional clients like Concepcion, who use a small investment to transform their lives, families and communities.

 

*the identities of the beneficiaries have been changed for privacy

Oct 11, 2013

India Update: Suvarna Panurang Phalke's Story

Because of your generous support, women like Suvarna are able to overcome the hardships associated with chronic poverty. With access to financial services, families no longer have to fear tomorrow. Just a small loan can give a hardworking entrepreneur the opportunity to achieve life-changing transformation. With the proper tools, our clients are able to accomplish their dreams and build secure futures. Your commitment to Opportunity has changed everything for Suvarna and the women in her community.

Abandoned by her husband, Suvarna Panurang Phalke was forced to live in the Azadnager slum with her son and no means of support. With a child and no formal skills outside her duties as a housewife, Suvarna feared for her future. Hearing about Opportunity, she recognized her chance to start a new chapter in her life.

Investing an initial loan of $18, Suvarna purchased a used sewing machine and opened a tailoring business in a market stall. Using subsequent loans and the support from her Trust Group, Suvarna moved from the slums to Pune, where she runs a thriving business that created jobs for eight other women from the local slums. Suvarna says “My greatest reward is to generate jobs for other women; I want to help as many as possible out of the slums.” Suvarna is getting closer and closer to her dream of owning a home and giving her son a college education.
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