50 Weeks of Opportunity
Each week for the next 50 weeks, we will share a piece of Opportunity’s history—major or minor, sobering or inspiring, we have gotten where we are today by facing some of the world’s greatest challenges, with you by our side. Please join us in celebrating the many impactful moments that have built the foundation on which we will embark on our most audacious vision yet: ending extreme poverty.
On Saturday, February 20, 2021, we presented the first of a series of 50th anniversary awards. The first Founders Circle Awards went to a group of Opportunity International pioneers who helped us innovate our strategies and programs to better serve clients. These awards celebrate the earliest days of initiatives that have come to define Opportunity's work—and we are so excited to go back and remember how these programs began. Enjoy the first spotlight on a winner: In 2005 and 2006, then-Opportunity…Read More
Opportunity International's story began in 1971 with the vision of Al Whittaker and the relentless entrepreneurial spirit of Carlos Moreno, a small business owner in Colombia. As Al was beginning his work in Latin America and raising support for microloans in Washington DC, another innovative humanitarian leader was exploring similar opportunities on the other side of the world. David Bussau grew up in an Anglican boys' home in Australia and began his own entrepreneurial journey by renting a hot…Read More
Throughout our history, we have had the honor and privilege to travel to the field to meet Opportunity International clients; visit their homes and businesses; and be inspired by their incredible tenacity, compassion, and hard work. These trips, known today as Insight Trips, have opened our eyes and hearts — and helped us build relationships with new friends around the world. Travel around the world — and back in time — with us as we remember some of our favorite Insight Trip moments over the…Read More
From 1971 to 2021, we've been working together to help people move out of poverty all around the world. Let's see how our global progress has fared. Each week for the next 50 weeks, we will share a piece of Opportunity’s history—major or minor, sobering or inspiring. We have gotten to where we are today by facing some of the world’s greatest challenges, with you by our side. Please join us in celebrating the many significant moments that have built the foundation on which we will embark…Read More
In the early 1990s, Opportunity International was testing out innovative new models around the world. While launching our very first programs in Africa and beginning to issue larger loans in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain, a group of donors in the United States dreamed up a new idea of their own. These women, who would later power the Women’s Opportunity Fund, wanted Opportunity to serve people even further down the economic pyramid. They wanted us to provide financial services…Read More
To begin our 50-year celebration, there is no better place to start than at the beginning. While today we serve 14 million people, the Opportunity International story starts with one. Long before he was a “client” of ours, Carlos Moreno was one of nearly a million people in Cali, Colombia working desperately to provide for his family. He searched for needs that weren’t being met in his community and noticed an opportunity waiting for him in the spice market. He and his wife began grinding…Read More