Microloans to 16 Entrepreneurs in the Philippines

by Opportunity International

You helped us reach the most vulnerable in the Philippines 

With loans to 934,000 entrepreneurs, nearly 100,000 families saving and 1.5 million insurance policies across the Philippines, Opportunity International continues to increase access to services for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. An estimated 43 million of the Philippines’ total population of 103 million live on less than $2 a day.

Your gifts empower parents to improve the lives of their children through the achievement of real economic gains. Parents with increased incomes send kids to school and put more nutritious meals on the table. Your partnership made possible the following:

  • Social and personal development training materials and opportunities that improve health, hygiene and disease prevention for the whole family.
  • Two new Financial Literacy training DVDs to help clients operate profitable businesses.
  • More than 3,000 loan clients who are rebuilding their businesses following Typhoon Helen and the monsoons in her aftermath. 

Thanks for your support that helped make all of this possible! 

Insuring the future

 To enable clients and their families to prepare for and to mitigate any risk from unexpected illness and natural disasters, Opportunity offers a range of insurance products. All loans come with a life benefit and health and crop insurance protect families from losing progress as they work their way toward financial independence. Opportunity Philippines provides clients with insurance, a safety net so they can cope in times of need and hardship.

 Client training

 To help its clients realize their potential and best provide for their families, Opportunity offers a range of training programs to complement its financial services.

  • Opportunity designed a suite of innovative integrated multimedia-based financial education resources and materials in the second half of 2011. The content is presented in game-show format spanning nine 12-minute long modules covering financial management - including financial discipline, financial product price comparison and decreasing vulnerability to predatory lending practices, savings - including advantages and benefits of saving, keeping money safe and secure and ways to best utilize savings accounts budgeting - including cash flow management, how to navigate through unexpected financial difficulties and understanding income, profit and expenses.
  • In the second half of 2011, 954 ASKI clients participated in training programs through the ASKI Skills and Knowledge Institute. The training programs included Financial Education, Enterprise Skills Development and a range of team building activities.
  • Between July and December 2011, TSKI delivered financial education to over 3,400 clients who attended training sessions aimed at improving their financial literacy, thereby enabling them to make informed financial decisions and plan effectively for their family’s future. An additional 3,500 clients attended a new course that embeds the qualities of a successful entrepreneur along with the steps to establishing a successful business.

Educating children of microfinance clients

Microfinance promotes intergenerational change. As clients increase their incomes, they become economically empowered, enabling them to choose how they spend their income. For the majority of microfinance clients this involves improving the nutrition, health and education of their family.

  • ASKI promotes the importance of education through its Loan for Educational Advancement Program

(LEAP). This loan product is offered to clients who lack the available funds to send their children to school or college. They must be a reliable long-term ASKI client who exhibits the ability to take on additional credit to qualify (client for at least three years with a100% repayment rate). The low-cost loan is currently helping 260 microfinance clients’ children realize their dream to have an education.

Thanks for all your support that makes it possible for life-changing work to continue in the Philippines!

Lulu is 32 years old and married to Robinson who works as an Overseas Filipino Worker. The couple has 3 children; all of them are in the school-aged level. Their family lives happily in the village of Concepcion, Tarlac.

Offering manicure and pedicure services are the main source of income for Lulu. She has been engaged in her business for almost five years now. She provides manicure and pedicure services to her customers who are her neighbors, relatives, friends and other people in their village. Lulu and her husband are very hard working and patient because they really wanted to give the best to their children. She has a dream of building a mini parlor in the future and she also dreams that her children will finish their studies until college in order to have a stable job someday.

Lulu wanted to gain more income but she needs also additional capital, thus she is requested to avail a loan amounting to 10000 PHP. She wanted to purchase more materials to be use in her business like different kinds of nail polish, cuticle remover, cotton, nail cutter, pusher and acetone. This loan has helped Lulu achieve her dreams and provide for her children. 


Loan Application Highlights:

  • City: Concepcion, Tarlac
  • Country: Philippines
  • Loan Requested: $250
  • Loan Term: 24 weeks
  • Loan Use: to purchase more materials to be use in her business like different kinds of nail polish, cuticle remover, cotton, nail cutter, pusher and acetone.
  • Date Posted: April 30, 2012
  • First Repayment: March 16, 2012

Alicia is 46 years old and married to Oscar who works as a farmer in their community. The couple has 6 children who are all in the school-aged. Their family happily resides in Concepcion, Tarlac. Alicia works as a dressmaker in their community. She makes and sells different kinds of clothes, such as school and office uniforms, athlete's uniforms, curtains and blankets. She also provides general alteration or repair to different kinds of clothes. She has been managing her business for almost 4 years now and she's earning a net income of 6,000 Philippines pesos per month. 

Alicia would like to buy a new sewing machine because the sewing machine that she is using is very old. She wants to provide a better service to her customers. She hopes that when she has a new sewing machine, she can make more kinds of clothes and she can meet the demands of her customers. She also wishes to increase her income and improve her business by acquiring more customers. The income that she will generate from the business will be used in expanding her business by putting up a small flower shop. She also dreams that through her income she can provide the school fees and allowances of her children.

Marilou Largo (33) and her husband Mario (38) live in the suburbs of Cebu, Philippines. The couple has been blessed with three children: Mae Flor now in her first year of high school, Genaro age 11, and Mark Kevin age 8.

Mario works as a bus driver for a multi-purpose cooperative and earns enough money to put food on the table. However, Marilou admits that her husband’s salary is insufficient in order to send her children to school. At times, they sacrifice the weekly budget for meals in order to meet their children’s needs school supplies and allowances. Furthermore, at times Mario needs to take night shifts that will take him away for several days. She adds that it worries her if he cannot come home at night.

Although Marilou only finished secondary school, that did not hinder her from working to sustain herself and her family. Eventually, Marilou opened her own eatery. Using her own kitchen tools and finery she opened a small cafeteria in her backyard. With meals ranging from hot soups to appetizers, she has been able to help support her family.

Mario plays a role as well in her project, he uses part of his salary and invests it in expanding the eatery. Though Marilou's business has progressed, they have had a hard time paying for their daily expenses like water and electric bills, and their children’s school expenses. The couple has tried other means to borrow money as capital for the eatery. Sometimes they had to pay 20% interest monthly making repayments difficult. They have also tried contacting the cooperative where Mario works, however they are afraid Mario might lose his job if they cannot make a payment.

Marilou fears losing the business that she opened. With its strategic location and her good cooking, people enjoy her eatery. She would like to expand but it has been difficult to find capital. She knows that either way she has sacrifices to make. Marilou says that additional capital will really make a difference and will ensure sustainability and expansion in their business. She hopes to provide her kids with proper education and support their needs.


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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.opportunity.org
Project Leader:
Emily Engel
Oak Brook, IL United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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