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August 3, 2010

Spotlight on the Annual Report: Empowering Emerging Women Leaders in Microfinance

By Opportunity International

Meet Beatrice William.

Beatrice is undergoing training through Opportunity International’s Emerging Leaders Program – part of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Initiative–which trains talented women in banking and finance to help them establish or advance careers in microfinance as loan officers and bank managers.

“When I heard that I had been chosen to come to Nairobi for the Emerging Leaders Program, I knew that it was going to change me. And it has,” Beatrice says.

Beatrice graduated from the Institute of Finance Management in Tanzania, served an internship withCitigroup International, and obtained an advanced diploma in banking. She lives with her husband in Dar es Salaam and has been employed as a loan officer at Opportunity Tanzania since April 2009. She serves 350 clients, many of whom run small shops or sell groceries from carts.

She says she’s learned a lot and gained new skills by participating in the Emerging Leaders Program, and she plans to share these learnings with her fellow Opportunity staff members. Beatrice hopes to become a bank branch manager in the future. And some day, she wants to start her own business providing training to women entrepreneurs who are working their way out of poverty.

The Emerging Leaders Program is changing the lives of women working for Opportunity in eight African countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more about the program on page seven of our 2009 Annual Report, and explore the new report to learn how we’re Helping Communities Thrive by providing financial access to over two million economically marginalized people in more than 20 countries. That’s why we say, “It’s more thanhttp://www.opportunity.org/what-is-microfinance/microfinance[/intlink]: it’s a working solution to global poverty.”