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 7, 2012

Measurable Impact in Kenya

Joyce Njoroge, an Opportunity Kenya loan client
Joyce Njoroge, an Opportunity Kenya loan client

Measurable Impact: Side by Side in Kenya

Opportunity Kenya currently serves clients via 12 branch locations. With hard work from the dedicated staff, Opportunity Kenya increased client outreach by 20% and maintained a client repayment rate of 98% despite a very challenging economic environment. Additionally, Opportunity Kenya maintains an encouraging client retention rate of 86%. Eager to continue reaching out to marginalized communities, the Kenya staff is making plans to add three additional offices in 2012.

Opportunity serves clients with four loan products customized to meet the unique need of Kenya’s hard-working
entrepreneurs:

  • Msingi Loans are six-month loans tailored to meet the needs of the micro and small entrepreneurs and used  as working capital as well as for purchasing business assets. 
  • Nguzo Loans are loans for small and medium scale entrepreneurs who require larger loan amounts. 
  • Somesha Loans finance school fee loans and are available to active clients who have serviced at least one of the Msingi or Nguzo loan cycles.

Opportunity Kenya provides loans through Trust Groups. Loans come with credit-life insurance to provide a
safety-net in case of tragedies that threaten to derail progress made. In response to growing demand, Kenya launched a pilot in 2011 to test Individual lending to meet the needs of entrepreneurs whose businesses are growing and require larger loans with more flexible repayment rates and customized training.

Plans for 2012 include:

  • Opening three to four field offices, starting with one outside of Kitengela.
  • Introducing two new products that are transformational, rather than income generating: loans for water harvesting and storage, which will improve sanitation and health; and loans for solar-powered lighting, which will decrease reliance on expensive and environmentally damaging kerosene.

Links:

Jun 6, 2012

Savings Accounts Change Women's Lives

Empowering Women to Save

Opportunity International realizes that a key part of empowering women to fight poverty lies in providing them with tools to save their money.

In 2008, Opportunity International embarked on its most ambitious effort to date, a $123.6 million Banking
on Africa campaign to expand financial services for poor families throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Rwanda. With your partnership, we celebrate the successful completion of the fundraising efforts and we press on toward Banking on Africa’s goal: reaching 5 million clients in Africa by 2015 to impact 30 million people.

In Rwanda, deposit clients have increased by over 65% to 75,029 by the end of 2011. Loan clients have increased from 30,381 in 2010 to 40,662 in 2011.

Your support is helping women save for their future, and protect the dreams of themselves and their children.

Jun 6, 2012

Banking on Mozambique's Farmers

Rural Expansion Program: Banking on Mozambique's Farmers

Approximately 70% of Africans work in agriculture and these households are some of the poorest in the world. Opportunity found that farmers in Africa are producing at only 40% of their potential because they cannot access the needed best-practice information, financing and markets. With your help we work with small-scale farmers in , Mozambique to adopt more productive agriculture practices, link up with buyers and extension service providers, and access inputs to grow more food.

Opportunity spent 2010 and 2011 working with small-scale farmers and learning from them which financial tools and services they need to succeed. In 2012, Opportunity’s Agriculture Finance team aims to bring services closer to clients using mobile phone banking. This gives clients access to their funds from their own rural village, and uses GPS to capture household data and map out farm plots that show how to get the best return from their land.   

Highlights from Mozambique

  • In 2011 Opportunity grew the number of loans in Mozambique by over 50% to 13,962 loan clients.
  • Crops funded in Mozambique now include: sugar, soya bean, sesame, cabbage, maize, groundnut, pigeon pea, cashews, chili, poultry, goats.
  • Savings are very important for farming families who must make their harvest income last all year. At year-end, 52,427 clients had savings accounts, up from 37,218 in 2010.

Your support of entrepreneurs in Mozambique helps change the agricultural landscape, and give the farmers a chance to create a future for their families.

 
   

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