Microloans Create Opportunities for Indian Women

Deepa Kaha
Deepa Kaha's health insurance paid for treatment.

MicroEnsure, a subsidiary of Opportunity International, is the world’s first microinsurance intermediary, and it serves people living in poverty with innovative products in crop, loan, health, life and property insurance, offering clients and their families a safety net when an unexpected hardship or disaster occurs. Research has shown that of all insurance products, health insurance is the most demanded by people in poverty. That is why MicroEnsure has developed comprehensive low-cost health insurance which covers pre-existing illnesses and maternity care from day one. Service is provided on a cashless basis. Users simply present their ID card to receive treatment.

MicroEnsure launched its first cashless health insurance product in India in 2008. Remarkably it costs as little as nine dollars a year to provide health insurance cover for a family of four.

Opportunity International and our subsidaries are dedicated to bringing Health Insurance to those that need it most, and have continuted to work and expand our services throughout India. You too can be a part of this important initiative.

For more on MicroEnsure’s health insurance products in India and elsewhere visit microensure.com

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: 


This past December, The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS, has awarded Opportunity International a grant in the amount of $100,000. The grant fosters economic literacy, as well as improves access to affordable microfinance services in India.

“Opportunity International is grateful to The UPS Foundation for its dedication to helping impoverished families receive access to financial education and support,” said Dennis Ripley, our SVP of International Business Development. “Their support of our organization over the years has helped countless clients work their way out of poverty and toward a better life through entrepreneurship.”

In India, Opportunity’s mission is to serve people who do not have access to financial services. The grant from The UPS Foundation will help us expand our impact in the lives of Indian clients in both rural and urban communities.

The program funded by The UPS Foundation Grant includes microfinance services, such as Trust Group lending and financial literacy training programs on earning, spending, borrowing and budgeting. In addition, clients will benefit from insurance products provided by our subsidiary MicroEnsure, a leading insurance intermediary for people living in poverty.

“For nearly 40 years, [Opportunity] has fostered entrepreneurship in the developing world through education, savings programs, insurance services and training,” says Eduardo Martinez, director of philanthropy and corporate relations for The UPS Foundation. “We are proud to continue our support of Opportunity International’s efforts to increase economic literacy in India.”


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Project Leader

Emily Engel

Oak Brook, Illinois United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Microloans Create Opportunities for Indian Women