Oct 18, 2018

Creating Economic Opportunities in Colombia

Opportunity International has expanded economic opportunities for disadvantaged female entrepreneurs living in rural, violence-affected communities in Colombia. Through your support, we expanded financial inclusion for women, helped more children from impoverished families go to school, and expanded client trainings and financial services to increase their incomes and create more jobs. We achieved this through:

  1. Expanding outreach to women entrepreneurs living in violence-affected areas. While still engaging impoverished working families in Colombia, we have reached further down the economic ladder to engage women living in impoverished, violence-affected communities, introducing them to the most basic concepts of financial literacy and income-generating businesses.
  2. Empowering women entrepreneurs as job creators in marginalized communities. You have provided moms with the tools and skills they need to reach their potential to support their families and become leaders and job creators within their communities.
  3. Expanding access to education for girls. Together, we built the capacity of entrepreneurs who have launched or expanded quality schools that can change the future for children, especially girls, along with their families and entire communities.

Expanding access to economic and educational opportunities has proven vitally important for low-income Colombian women entrepreneurs and their children. The positive impact of this project has rippled beyond entrepreneurs and school proprietors to build stronger communities across the country. Through your generosity, Opportunity has provided critical support, training, and economic opportunities to hardworking Colombian entrepreneurs and school proprietors.

 During the first six months of 2018:

  • We opened two new branches in rural, violence-affected Colombian communities and began serving women with the financial resources and support they need to succeed.
  • Opportunity Colombia number of entrepreneurs with loans grew by 19% from 6,180 to 7,348. The increased outreach is attributed in part to the two new branches.
  • We trained 658 entrepreneur clients. Including family members, 3,290 people have been positively impacted as clients grow thriving businesses that increase household income and create jobs for neighbors.
  • We updated our 7-module training series for both savings groups and Trust Groups based on their expressed needs from data collected through our Social Performance Management tool and client surveys.
  • 416 Colombian schools are investing Opportunity School Improvement loans, enhancing education quality for about 104,000 children through improved infrastructure like better classrooms and gender-separated bathrooms.
  • Colombian parents are using 428 Opportunity School Fee loans to cover the education costs of about 1,300 kids.
  • Ten youth were accessing College/Vocational loans to pay for continuing education.
  • Opportunity Colombia dramatically increased their outreach by developing and launching an education product that funds community moms who start preschools in their homes. The pre-schools are growing and creating jobs for other moms in the neighborhood.

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Oct 18, 2018

Opportunity in Action

Linda, a baker who sold a few loaves of bread each day from a basket atop her head in the streets of Accra, Ghana, struggled to provide for her family. Despite the challenges, she persevered. That’s when she learned about Opportunity and invested a loan to expand her operation. Little by little, she baked more bread and reached more customers. Today, her business has grown into a thriving factory that produces thousands of loaves of bread daily, netting a steady income that allows her to not only care for her own family, but for many others as well, through the creation of sustainable jobs. Her business, her family, and their lives have been transformed—and her transformation has sparked change for so many in her community. All through a simple opportunity. An opportunity provided by supporters like you.

As of June of this year, Opportunity International was actively serving 10.6M families across 23 developing countries, like Linda in Ghana. Because of supporters like you, more than 300,000 people across Africa are building sustainable livelihoods through Opportunity loans while nearly 1.3 million families are working their way out of poverty through secure ways to save. 

Thank you for supporting inspiring entrepreneurs like Linda!

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Oct 17, 2018

Education Finance in Tanzania

Because of generous supporters like you, marginalized children have bright futures filled with ample opportunity and new hope! Your support of Opportunity’s EduFinance programs around the world will continue to drive inclusive quality education for years to come. Opportunity’s approach, which blends the sustainability of Education Finance with locally-driven Education Quality services, offers a permanent solution that can be replicated to give children access to a good education in almost any developing community around the world. With your support, Opportunity has:

  • Launched operations at a second Tanzanian partner called Letshego, expanding our outreach to an active portfolio of 231 School Improvement loans and 286 School Fee loans to positively impact nearly 60,000 children.
  • Launched Opportunity’s EduFinance Quality program in Tanzania to impact more than 20,000 kids.
  • Partnered with Teach a Man to Fish and Fundación Paraguaya to launch the School Enterprise Challenge and Business Clubs to prepare children for future careers.
  • Conducted and shared research that identified how education influences girls’ pathways out of poverty in the developing world.

Today, 85 Tanzanian schools have formed into 19 Education Quality clusters. Educators self-selected into small networks of socially-focused private schools where they shared best practices, collaborated on curriculum and built standards of excellence to improve outcomes for about 21,250 kids.

By supporting Opportunity's EduFinance programs, you are creating lasting impact for students in Tanzania, and around the world. Thank you!

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