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.
Jun 6, 2012

Helping Mexicans Overcome Hardships

Mexico’s record on economic freedom, is one of considerable ups and downs. Registering one of the 10 largest score declines this year, the economy’s ranking indicates that serious challenges remain. The rule of law has been severely undercut by ongoing violence and social instability related to drug trafficking. Other grave institutional weaknesses include rampant corruption and weak protection of private property rights. The reform agenda addressing these deficiencies has been extensive, but progress has been sluggish and marginal.

It is in the midst of these hardships that Opportunity Mexico has been working hard to build its client base and reach more people with microfinance solutions to help them work their way out of poverty.  CEO Maria Clara Martinez continues to lead the Opportunity Mexico team in  serving entrepreneurs in the slums of urban Guadalajara and in rural communities in Jalisco and Michoacan, where joblessness and despair are all too common.  Throughout 2012, Opportunity Mexico is aiming to significantly increase loan client outreach and to continue to provide qualified clients with both training and loans geared toward established businesses.

A gift to Opportunity Mexico makes it possible for market vendors to fill their stalls with goods, artisans to make a profit, educators to expand schools and farmers to move beyond subsistence. We look forward to seeing continued growth this year through the generous donations of our supporters and the work of our staff in Mexico.

Jun 6, 2012

Meet Ghana Client Alima Gosu

Alima Gosu is a 45 year old married woman with five children who are in the high school. Alima lives with her family at Madina, a suburb of Accra in Ghana. She runs a small provision store in her neighborhood and has been in business for 12 years. She buys her goods from wholesalers in the city. Alima says that she also supplies her products to food vendors in her community.

Alima's business not only helps her provide for her family, but also helps to stimulate the economy of Ghana. By continuing to expand the the amount of food she provides in her store, she helps everyone--from the farmers who grow the food, to the wholesalers who sell it to her-- also increase their income.

Alima recently requested a $325 loan to buy more goods in bulk for her store. She would like to not make as many trips to the city, but instead stock up on large quantities of food whenever she goes to the city.

Alima is supported by a trust group called “Miracle." Members of trust groups pledge to hold one another accountable in their loan repayments, as well as guarantee each others loan, should someone not be able to make a repayment.

Your gift to women like Alima will multiply many times over to help entrepreneurs, farmers, and and all those working to lift themselves out of poverty provide a better future for themselves and their families.

Jun 6, 2012

Microfinance brings new energy to South Africa

2012 has been named the United Nations’ “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.” In the UN’s own words, “Energy is opportunity. It transforms lives. Economies. The planet.”

Many of Opportunity's clients live in the sunniest parts of the world, but experience some of the darkest nights because of a lack of electricity.  In fact, over one billion people around the world lack basic electricity and rely only on kerosene light after the sun goes down. This energy poverty–a lack of access to electricity, fuel and more efficient cooking technologies–creates many safety and practical issues around the world.

In South Africa, microfinance is helping create more sustainable energy initiatives. CEO of Opportunity South Africa said that they have recently entered into a partnership with a supplier of solar-powered heating systems. Low-income clients of Opportunity in South Africa are able to finance these heating systems very inexpensively, significantly improving their quality of life by providing an easier way to acquire sanitary water for cooking, drinking, and washing.

Your gift to Opportunity South Africa will provide life-changing opportunities such as these to the entrepreneurs across the country who are continually working to lift themselves out of poverty.

 
   

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